Saturday, 23 May 2009

Traditional media vs blogs - an unscientific but quick comparison

opswarfare previously wrote about the standoff between Somali pirates and the US Navy.

The 20th April 2009 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology (AWST) had a short article in its 'News Breaks' section. (see below)
SHIPBOARD UAVS PROVE COMBAT NEED Use of Boeing/Insitu's Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle, flown from the USS Bainbridge to monitor Somali pirates' treatment of a hostage U.S. ship captain on board the pictured lifeboat, showed both strengths and weakness.

On the plus side, the aircraft can use its persistence to sit on top of an event with an unblinking infrared (IR) or electro-optical (EO) eye, provide critical 3D situational awareness and be directed by the tactical commander, explains Capt. J.R. Brown, the program executive officer (PEO) for Navy and Marine Corps UAVs.

However, Scan Eagle presents users with a low-resolution picture and cannot provide both EO and IR coverage during a single flight, Brown notes. "Warfighters want more and they want better."

So the Navy plans to replace the Scan Eagle with a specialized, small tactical UAV-competition for up to 56 systems officially started Apr. 2-which simultaneously would provide EO/IR real-time, high-resolution, full-motion video around the clock; a communications relay for a much larger surveillance footprint; and the ability to look into Afghanistan's deep valleys, says Gary Kessler, deputy PEO for unmanned aviation.

But, with the increasing demand for surveillance capabilities, the Scan Eagle's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services will be shifted to smaller craft, such as smaller littoral combat ships and boats, as they are replaced by larger capital ships. The small, tactical UAV is scheduled to be operational in 2012.
So how does this article compare with the opswarfare post? The AWST article comes across as more techy and also manages to look into the future. My post comes across as newsy, with video and additional focus on the SEAL snipers that eneded the standoff. Looks like I still have some way to go...

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