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This is a normal post Drones get all the bad press
for several reasons, but to my mind it's primarily due to their extended loitering over a target area before they strike. They can circle around a target area for many, many hours before finally releasing their weapons. Now imagine you're in Pakistan or wherever and you see/hear a drone in the area. Imagine the sheer terror of knowing that that flying robotic death machine may choose to kill you at any point and there's nothing you can do to fight back.

Secondly, a drone is vastly inferior to a human-piloted aircraft in terms of target validation. It is restricted to seeing what its cameras and other sensors are pointed at at the time, and can only see at the resolution of its cameras. As a result is unable to effectively evaluate a target in terms of collateral damage. There is absolutely no substitute for having a human eyeball assessing the target prior to weapon firing.

Thirdly the drones relatively low-value aircraft in comparison to a fighter jet, they fire low-cost munitions and they are controlled from many thousands of miles away. There's comparitively little financial cost in their use, and there's no risk to the operator. It's war for the Playstation generation: You get shot down, no problem, just reload.*

Due to the range from which they're launched and the speed they approach, there's little to no warning of a cruise missile strike so the terror factor doesn't really count. They're (mostly) precision weapons, but they cost several million a shot. As a result they're too expensive to use except in the initial days of a war to destroy the air defences of a country, or for other high-value targets.


* As an aside, several years ago at work I once overheard a uniformed officer and a sales manager at a coffee machine, discussing the problems that the USAF were having with B2 pilots flying round-trip bombing missions over Afghanistan out of Maryland. They were having trouble connecting the fact they were fighting a war and killing people, then going home to their families at the end of the mission. It was all I cound do to avoid shouting "GOOD!" at them. War *should* have a cost, be it physical, financial or psychological. When it exacts no toll on us, then there is no reason not to fight.
(, Mon 12 Nov 2012, 10:06, Reply)
This is a normal post Hang on...
You are saying a pilot of a plane flying at high altitude can see better than a drone at a much lower altitude?

Pretty sure that a pilot can't see as well as a drone controller
(, Mon 12 Nov 2012, 10:33, Reply)
This is a normal post Perhaps I wasn't making my point clearly enough
I was referring to the difference in situational awareness.

It's the difference between driving a car and playing a driving game. Playing the game, you can only see what the screen shows. Even if you can steer the camera, you'll never get the full field-of-view that an eyeball gives you.
(, Mon 12 Nov 2012, 11:06, Reply)
This is a normal post I think they use Xbox 360 controllers, actually.

(, Mon 12 Nov 2012, 10:43, Reply)
This is a normal post I know they do for the bomb disposal robots.
I would hope though that for something the flies it's a tad more sophisticated.
(, Mon 12 Nov 2012, 13:44, Reply)