A Navy Times website article today (Julie Watson,
2-May-13) announces the establishment of a combined manned and unmanned helicopter squadron, HSL-35, which will operate 8 unspecified Seahawk type helos and 10 MQ-8B Fire Scouts from the LCS. This is fine. UAVs have a role to play. However, the claims for UAVs far exceed any reasonable real world performance. For example, the article states,
“… the Fire Scout can hover over an enemy target, maintaining contact …”
The Fire Scout, for any who may not be familiar with it, is simply an unmanned helo: not very stealthy and not very fast. An enemy target is going to allow it to hover over its position? Maybe if we’re fighting some third world idiots armed with BB guns. An actual enemy with a real military would simply shoot down the Fire Scout in short order.
Again, I have no problem with UAVs but the abilities claimed for them are far too often simply ridiculous.