"Hunting, drone aircraft, and surprising aircraft."
Beyond the current tactical situation in Syria, the statements made a few minutes ago by the official spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, could have revealed the use of experimental aircraft under the Pentagon control or still under development in the US.
The usual daily appointment on the military effort in Syria and on the agreement to come into force soon between Moscow and Washington to prevent aviation accidents over the skies of Syria, the statements of Konashenkov (every word has been studied and evaluated, then uttered not in case) could have revealed the use is flying secret platforms or pushed to do so.
"On October 10 our fighters have identified a US plane in the Syrian sky. It is not the first, not the last. Our pilots continuously identify fighters and drones. Some drones that are identified, are amazing. "
What prompted the Russian Defense Ministry Konashenkov to use this word in the speech?
Do not underestimate the possibility that it is a strategy for internal use, in a time when the Russian people expect to understand the scope of the intervention in Syria (lightning war or attrition). If so, the goal of the Russians would be clear: to get the message of the Russian superiority that forced the US to operate the airplanes secrets. If not, what would be the aircraft striking intercepted by the Russians?
Officially, only the US and Britain are developing Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAV). In addition to Taranis in the UK, there is the Northrop Grumman RQ-180. The United States test all UCAV in one of the nine bases as is the Area-51 in American territory.
The RQ-180, whose technical specifications have not yet been disclosed, should have a wingspan of 39/42 meters, larger that of the 737. It should have already flown on ISR missions in Afghanistan and could have been tested Also in Iraq and Syria.
Similar to the X-47B (central body raised and thin wings - photos opening), but with a wider opening, the RQ-180 would take advantage of the know-how in terms of low observability acquired with the experience gained with the F -117 Nighthawk (pictured above) and F-22 Raptor, combined with more efficient aerodynamics. This should improve all aspects in terms of aerodynamic efficiency to a higher altitude, range and parking. Its engine could be more powerful than that of the Global Hawk, the Rolls-Royce AE3007H. It is thought to be the same, albeit appropriately modified, the X-47B. The RQ-180 is also believed to be able to make electronic attacks.
The platform comes from the project Joint Unmanned Combat Air System, Northrop Grumman, deleted at the end of 2005 for differences in requirements between the Air Force and the Navy.
Separate mention the Taranis
We know that Taranis has successfully completed a test flight, recorded and publicized on August 10 last in the military range at Woomera in South Australia. Taranis flew for 15 minutes, performing maneuvers at various altitudes and at different speeds before landing. A week later, on August 17, it was carried out another test flight. Since then it is estimated that more additional flights have been carried out.
The prototype, which now has reached the remarkable figure of 316 million US dollars, aims to develop an aircraft invisible unmanned missions C4ISTAR for surveillance, information gathering and electronic warfare in enemy territory. The wings of the Taranis have a high angle arrow positive with an opening measuring 33 meters wide. According to the BAE Systems Taranis it is the ultimate engineering and aeronautical design.
On 15 July last year, at the Farnborough International Airshow, BAE Systems announced that the drone has completed the second series of test flights. In particular, operators have evaluated the ability of electronic warfare, communication systems encrypted, the integration between the motor and the stealth capabilities of the aircraft to evade detection radar.
Taranis, the name of the Celtic god of thunder, is part of the Anglo-French project known as Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
FCAS has the goal of developing a new stealth fighter drone, with member countries that contribute in equal parts to the middle of the program budget. The Taranis remains a top-secret program, but some details have been declassified for the public by BAE Systems. We know that most of the technology of the drone was developed in England, but several American companies, including General Electric and the Group Triumph, have designed a large part of the flight systems. The first flight of Taranis took place between October 2013 and March 2014. The drone has demonstrated its ability to independently taxied to the runway for takeoff, take off and fly up to the target area. Taranis would thus be able to generate a flight plan to the target, find it and return to base. The aircraft also has made an assessment of the damage caused to the simulated target before performing a landing. All without human intervention.
The 316 million US dollars in the Taranis were covered for 30% by BAE and the Ministry of Defence for the remaining 70 percent. The Taranis was presented to the public in July 2010. The first tests classified the ground began in 2013. Taranis is designed for asymmetric warfare and combat air to air and air to ground. Probably it is already operational.
What if ...
We are in the field of pure conjecture, but we know that the US is developing a new unmanned spy plane dubbed SR-72 (pictured right). Long under development at the division 'Skunk Works', who treats advanced programs at Lockheed Martin, will be the successor of the famous SR-71 (pictured below) that the Air Force has used for decades, but retired from service almost twenty years ago.
A hypersonic aircraft, armed with missiles (hypersonic), could penetrate enemy airspace of any planet in less than an hour.
The speed - according to Lockheed Martin - is the next frontier of technology to counter emerging threats in the coming decades.
Unmanned aerial vehicle shot down near Syrian border: Turkish military
Turkish jets have shot down an “aerial vehicle” near the Syrian border, the Turkish military said in a written statement on Oct. 16.
The target was an unmanned aerial vehicle and shot down in Turkish airspace before falling on the Turkish soil, according to military sources.
“Today, an aerial vehicle of unknown nationality was detected inside our airspace on the Syrian border, and when it continued its movement despite being warned three times, our aircraft on patrol mission on the border fired and shot down the vehicle within the rules of engagement,” the statement posted on the Turkish General Staff’s official website read.
“The Turkish Armed Forces is executing its tasks with determination within the rules of engagement,” the military added in the statement.
Turkey has previously downed a Syrian jet, a helicopter and a drone for violating its airspace.
The country adopted strict rules of engagement in 2012, after one of its F4 jet fighters was downed by Syria.
Turkey later announced that any naval, air or land force vehicle approaching Turkish territory from Syria would be considered a threat.
The Turkish Air Force shot down a Syrian helicopter at the border on Sept. 16, 2013, after it reportedly violated Turkey’s airspace.
On March 23, 2014, a Syrian jet was downed by Turkish fighter jets after it crossed into Turkish airspace a week before local elections.
Finally, on May 16, 2015, Turkey downed a Syrian surveillance drone after it violated Turkish airspace.