Sunday, December 04, 2005

On Not Provoking The Lion

The reported killing in Pakistan of a top al Queda operative by a missile fired by a Predator drone gives a glimpse of the future. History will record that all the Islamofascists achieved was to provoke the US into deploying the capability to locate and destroy enemies anywhere, without risk, so cementing its position as the global superpower.

The operation:

...officials said Rabia was believed to be an Egyptian and head of al Qaeda's foreign operations, possibly as senior as the No. 3 official in the terrorist group that carried out the September 11 attacks. That would put him in a tier just below Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahri.

NBC News, citing unnamed officials, reported last night that Rabia was killed early Thursday morning by a missile launched from an unmanned aircraft, a Predator drone, controlled by the CIA.

The Predator, like the WW2 Spitfire, was developed by a visionary. It's far more complex than the Islamic enemy could deploy, even with Russian and French help (my ellipsis):

A typical Predator system configuration would include four aircraft, one ground control system and one Trojan Spirit II data distribution terminal. The Predator air vehicle is 27ft in length and has a 49ft wingspan. The system operates at an altitude of 25,000ft and at a range of 400nm. The endurance of the air vehicle is more than 40 hours and the cruise speed is over 70 knots. The air vehicle is equipped with UHF and VHF radio relay links, a C-band line-of-sight data link which has a range of 150nm and UHF and Ku-band satellite data links.

The Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System is fitted on the MQ-1 Predator. (This) provides real-time imagery selectable between infrared and day TV as well as a laser designation capability. MQ-1 can employ two laser-guided Hellfire anti-armour missiles with the MTS.

The Northrop Grumman synthetic aperture radar which provides all-weather surveillance capability, has a resolution of 1ft. Other payload options, which can be selected to meet mission requirements, include a laser designator and rangefinder, electronic support and countermeasures and a Moving Target Indicator (MTI).

Other versions of the Predator carry 14 Hellfires.

The remaining problem is reliably locating the enemy. That's hard, but not impossible - the enemy needs to communicate, to transport men and weapons, and to deploy on the battlefield. All of these activities have have recognizable signatures and there is no doubt an huge effort to develop the solutions, mostly software pattern recognition.

So the Islamofascists have merely encouraged the Great Satan to create the ability to hunt them down anywhere in the world and kill them at will. Tough.