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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Killer' drones for Australia? > Comments

'Killer' drones for Australia? : Comments

By Peter Coates, published 2/3/2015

The war against Islamic State in Iraq has made training remote aircrew for drones and acquisition of armed drones themselves a high priority for the RAAF.

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Moral concerns over killer drone use generally aren't sustainable in Court.

Reaper pilots who operate near Washington DC, with their drones over Iraq, may fall asleep at the wheel. But they also suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their first person shooter role over the battlefield.
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 2 March 2015 10:53:39 AM
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The Aus army buying killer drones?

Probably to go with their killer planes, killer tanks, killer guns, killer helicopter, ships, submarines etc.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 2 March 2015 2:02:19 PM
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Yes Shadow Minister

All military weapons kill people.

But only drones like the Reaper allow:

- "Both the pilot and operator [to fall] asleep on the job." for hours - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/24/drone-warfare-life-on-the-new-frontline

- and play computer games on the job: pilot vs operators and wider games between Reaper teams - see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/24/drone-warfare-life-on-the-new-frontline again:

"Most controversially, some operators have described how simple digital games were sometimes smuggled onto the [drone piloting] operating systems at work. The software for Predators and Reapers was supposed to run on closed military systems – but at some point, it was realised that games created using Microsoft Excel could be imported.

“One of my friends, he was brilliant when it came to breaking the rules. He created battleship games, chess games that you could play with another crew,” one former airman said. “You’d pull them up on your headset and you’d be playing against one member of the other crew while the other would typically be the referee.”

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 2 March 2015 2:52:28 PM
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Cheaper than $20 plus Billion for lemon submarines, even the last batch we bought were breaking down a lot.
Posted by Philip S, Monday, 2 March 2015 3:17:13 PM
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Hi Philip S

The possible $300 million dollars Defence may be earmarking for several Reapers* is totally unrelated to the submarine buy - of course.

A Reaper buy however may be more related to the failure of Australia's Tiger attack helicopters to be reliable enough for duty. The Tigers were a poor purchase with the US Super Cobra's and Apache's being far better US inter-operable, lower purchase risk and tested weapons.

The failure of Australia's $1 Billion+ Tiger purchase has been a major Defence-DMO-Australian Army stuffup that has never really become public http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_Tiger#Exports .

Also the technological advances in drones have left attack helicopters behind in lower intensity (lower threat to aircraft) warfare in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

* http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/02/25/07/43/raaf-wants-300m-for-attack-drones

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 2 March 2015 3:44:20 PM
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62 countries are now either operating drones or developing them, and Australia, as usual, lags behind everyone else.

Drones are the perfect weapons against terrorists who base themselves in the most lawless and worthless countries on the planet.
In Waziristan, Al Qaida and Taliban terrorists are now hiding and sleeping in caves to escape the drones. And living in a cave is no fun for a proud jihadi seeking a bit of R&R after dodging US Apaches.

The only "moral" argument against usingn drones is that they are effective against the sorts of enemies our home grown educated elites see as third world freedom fighters who are heroically opposing European neo Imperialists.

Their bizarre attitude bring s to mind the quote from British Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson VC, First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy that "Submarines are underhand, unfair, and damned un-English."

But submarines are still here.

Oh, and Peter Coates, the CIA does not operate armed drones. The CIA complained to the US Congress that they would be in breach of their legal charter if they killed people with drones. The US Congress agreed, and armed drones on kill missions are only operated by the US Air Force.
Posted by LEGO, Monday, 2 March 2015 4:12:44 PM
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