Author Topic: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks  (Read 3520 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 156,150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4,617
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:34:01 »
Interesting that the French don't use satellite control for their Reapers but have the crews relatively close to the AOR.

Quote
On Sept. 5, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly announced the long-awaited decision to arm French surveillance drones. French drones are currently unarmed, used only for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, like the Reapers based in Niamey, Niger. Given that a dozen countries already have armed drones, this decision is surprising only in its delay. Why did it take so long to arm French drones? How did it finally happen? And what are the strategic implications of such a decision?

https://warontherocks.com/2017/09/the-french-turn-to-armed-drones/
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 206,392
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,209
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 09:41:48 »
As the USAF and RAF had in KAF.

There's a delay with communications, video, and control signals via satellite. That makes it hard to co-ordinate strikes in close proximity to own troops and also to hit moving targets.

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 156,150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4,617
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 10:05:11 »
As the USAF and RAF had in KAF.

There's a delay with communications, video, and control signals via satellite. That makes it hard to co-ordinate strikes in close proximity to own troops and also to hit moving targets.

From what I understand, the KAF folks were the launch and recovery teams - at some point they switch control to the mission crews based in Creech AFB in Nevada, RAF Waddington, etc.  The lag is bad for fine adjustments (like landing and takeoff) but ok for mission stuff.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 124,590
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,816
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 10:25:23 »
So if it's ok for the French, it will be ok for us, right?

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 156,150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4,617
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 10:50:47 »
So if it's ok for the French, it will be ok for us, right?

 :rofl:
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 206,392
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,209
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 12:41:51 »
From what I understand, the KAF folks were the launch and recovery teams - at some point they switch control to the mission crews based in Creech AFB in Nevada, RAF Waddington, etc.  The lag is bad for fine adjustments (like landing and takeoff) but ok for mission stuff.

Nope.

They had GCS crews in KAF (not sure about BAF).

I watched a mission from within one of their boxes - much, much, much, much, much nicer than the crappy Sperwer box - and occasionally sat with some of them at mealtimes. Their (armed, a least) missions tended to be surprisingly short.

Now, exclusively-ISR missions (and, I suppose, some armed missions) may have been controlled from elsewhere, but they most definitely had GCS crews in KAF.

I sat with a few OH58D crews as well, and kept pestering them for application forms.

Offline Shrek1985

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 6,170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 321
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 15:45:15 »
So, soon the French too will be hurling missiles hither and yon, slaughtering wedding parties on maybes? Awesome. They needed more friends.

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 202,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,348
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 15:48:10 »
So, soon the French too will be hurling missiles hither and yon, slaughtering wedding parties on maybes? Awesome. They needed more friends.

 ???
I feel the need...the NEED to FEED! - Prop Gun

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 206,392
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,209
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 16:31:10 »
So, soon the French too will be hurling missiles hither and yon, slaughtering wedding parties on maybes? Awesome. They needed more friends.

Please elaborate.

Offline Shrek1985

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 6,170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 321
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 14:44:28 »
Please elaborate.

To which part? That France has done an incredible job alienating various populations, especially since the 60s, DESPITE the influence they still hold in Africa?

That armed drone programs have crappy track records on target differentiation?

Or that taking skin out of the game makes people more trigger-happy and corrodes judgement, in general?

Offline Underway

  • Donor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • 18,275
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 826
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 16:11:18 »
To which part? That France has done an incredible job alienating various populations, especially since the 60s, DESPITE the influence they still hold in Africa?

Yes true, the French never really lost their colonial possessions did they.

That armed drone programs have crappy track records on target differentiation?

Based on what data and what rules of engagement with what country?  I think perhaps you have spent to much time reading about UAV failures and not enough time reading about their by far greater successes.  Some bad targeting happens with ALL weapons systems.  That's a controller issue not a UAV issue.

Or that taking skin out of the game makes people more trigger-happy and corrodes judgement, in general?

You would think that but I doubt it.  ROE is ROE.  It actually might improve judgement and reduce trigger happiness as you don't feel as pressured to make a snap decision to save your own life.  You can afford (relatively speaking) to take longer and gather more information.  You can sit an watch and learn.

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 206,392
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,209
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 16:35:12 »
Underway pretty much nailed it.

I was a CU161 Sperwer UAV Mission Commander on Op Athena Roto 6 at Kandahar Airfield from 1 October 2008 to 1 May 2009.

While we were unarmed, we could and did direct other aircraft (all of the way from lowly B1s up to OH58D Kiowa Warriors) and artillery. As such, we were an active part of the kill chain. That also meant stopping attacks by other aircraft when we believed that a target either was not a valid one or that striking a valid target could result in death or injury to innocents - and I did that more times than assisting with an attack.

Death or injury to innocents was the last thing that anybody wanted to cause.

We were just as morally responsible, if perhaps a little less legally liable, for our decisions as the Pilot of a manned aircraft would have been. Strikes were also vetted by TFK HQ.

We could watch a potential target for hours before striking it. There was never any rush, and plenty of time to be absolutely sure.

The same was true for manned aircraft as well. There was plenty of manned and unmanned stuff floating around, all with good IR systems and providing live video to a variety of HQ complexes on the ground.

Some nationalities and/or organizations may have been a little less discriminatory than us, but that had nothing to do with the distance between crew and aircraft. Sitting in or eighty kilometres away from one's machine made no difference in the decision-making process whatsoever.

And they are NOT drones.

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 124,590
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,816
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 16:47:46 »
LM is on a his anti-"drone" crusade, i fear the tide of social media is against him. I take a lot of the "wedding parties" with a grain of salt. Often with the strikes done by "flying object not under the direct control of a human"  [:p we did not have control of the ground to conduct a damage assessment and the claims were made with limited proof.

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 206,392
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,209
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 17:16:37 »
UAVs are very much "under the direct control of a human", which is why they are not drones.

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 124,590
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,816
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 17:19:32 »
UAVs are very much "under the direct control of a human", which is why they are not drones.

as in sitting on top of it or in it.

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 202,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,348
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 20:10:54 »
If that is the case, it isn't a UAV/RPA.   ;)

Despite the masses or social media calling anything that doesn't have a body in it a *drone*, here is the official CAF policy.  I certainly hope we aren't using social media as the benchmark for...anything.  At all.

CANFORGEN 082/17 C AIR FORCE 15/17 021253Z MAY 17
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (UAS) TERMINOLOGY
UNCLASSIFIED
REFS: A. CANFORGEN 080/15 C AIR FORCE 13/15 231956Z APR 15 IMPLEMENTATION OF NATO UAS CLASSIFICATION TABLE
B. NATO STANDARD ATP-3.3.7, GUIDANCE FOR THE TRAINING OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) OPERATORS, EDITION B, VERSION 1, APRIL 2014
1.   AS DIRECTED BY THE CAF AIRWORTHINESS AUTHORITY AT REF A, THE CAF ADOPTED THE NATO UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) CLASSIFICATION TABLE (REF B). THIS TABLE IDENTIFIES THREE DISTINCT CLASSES OF UAS. WHILE THESE CLASSES ARE DEFINED BY SIZE AND WEIGHT, CLASS III UAS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE CAPABLE AND, UNLIKE CURRENT CLASS I AND II, ARE INTENDED TO OPERATE IN MORE COMPLEX AIR ENVIRONMENTS SUCH AS NON-SEGREGATED AIRSPACE
2.   NATO AND OTHER ALLIES HAVE ADOPTED A NEW LEXICON. THE TERMS UAV AND DRONE ARE OBSOLETE. THE SPECIALISED TERMS, REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT (RPA) AND REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (RPAS), ARE NOW USED AS A SUBSET OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT (UA) AND UAS RESPECTIVELY TO DESCRIBE THE LARGER MORE CAPABLE CLASS III SYSTEMS SUCH AS GLOBAL HAWK, PREDATOR B, AND HERON TP. THE RCAF JOINT UNMANNED SURVEILLANCE AND TARGET ACQUISITION SYSTEM (JUSTAS) PROJECT WILL ALSO PROCURE A CLASS III SYSTEM WHICH FALLS WITHIN THE RPA(S) SUBSET OF UA(S)
3.   EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY THE CAF WILL ADOPT THE TERMINOLOGY OF RPA(S) FOR NATO CLASS III UA(S). THE TERMS RPA(S) SHALL BE USED WHEN REFERRING TO THE JUSTAS PROJECT. ALL OTHER CURRENT AND PROGRAMMED CLASS I/II WILL CONTINUE TO EMPLOY THE TERMS UA AND UAS. ALL APPLICABLE PUBLICATIONS ARE TO BE AMENDED AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE
I feel the need...the NEED to FEED! - Prop Gun

Offline dapaterson

    - a scruffy-looking nerf herder.

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 424,220
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,973
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2017, 20:16:13 »
I think we should call them "POAICFA": Pilot On *** In Chair Far Away.
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 202,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,348
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 07:00:50 »
I bet that would stick!!! 
I feel the need...the NEED to FEED! - Prop Gun

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 124,590
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,816
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2017, 10:46:44 »
It was RPV when I worked supporting the trials in Suffield in the 80's

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 202,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,348
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2017, 16:52:17 »
And then someone needed the 'leading change' tick on their PER and... ;D
I feel the need...the NEED to FEED! - Prop Gun

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 156,150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4,617
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Re: The French turn to Armed Drones - War on the Rocks
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 20:26:28 »
LM is on a his anti-"drone" crusade, i fear the tide of social media is against him.

LM and I probably react the same way as many on here do when the media calls everything a machine-gun or tank.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."