From balloons over ancient cities in 1850 to the USAF MQ-9 Reaper UAV: humans have always been fascinated with autonomous war machines. The US is developing a five kilowatt laser Mobile High Energy Laser gun which can shoot down UAVs from miles away. It also has electronic warfare equipment that can jam a UAVs signal and crash it. They took out dozens of drones in their tests.
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The first examples of what could be considered modern use of drone technology occurred all the way back in the 1950s. In the 60s there was a large gap between the capabilities of spy planes, satellites, and low echelon ground reconnaissance. The answer to this dilemma was the Ryan 147b drone. The pentagon expressed a need for Unmanned aerial vehicles after a series of fatalities involving U.S spy planes, and wanted a way to collect ground data without risking the lives of U2 pilots, which were hard to train, and incredibly expensive to replace. It was the first unmanned aerial vehicle capable of flying over a disputed or dangerous area, gathering information with it’s built in cameras, and safely making its way back to friendly territory to be collected. While collecting information, it could also serve as a decoy against enemy AA, drop munitions on fixed targets, or drop leaflets on enemies for psychological warfare
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