Washington is always working on better and more effective weapons. Systems designed primarily as a strong deterrent. More bad, abnormal, to aim to discourage and, if necessary, win a war against anyone.
DARPA, the Pentagon's science organization, has begun work on a small drone that extends the range of an AIM-120 air-to-air missile. A robotic flying launcher track, to put it in Italian. Among the technological weapons of the Third World War, it is undoubtedly the most insidious and "promising".
Il “Flying Missile Rail” can help U.S. Air Force and Navy fighters match or even surpass the ever-growing range of manufacturing missiles Russian and Chinese. The last one AIM-120 It boasts a range of around 160 kilometres: this is exactly half the range that China's latest long-range missile achieved in its first tests.
Swarms of robotic planes
Colonel of the Air Force (and project manager) Jimmy Jones, wants robot bombers to be super cheap and easy to produce, to churn out impressive numbers of them in a short time, in case they are needed for a large-scale war. In other words, World War III is not a preferable option, but one cannot avoid considering it.
This is why testing and development of such a lethal prototype has never been so cheap. DARPA published its request for the Flying Missile Rail at the beginning of September 2017, and after 4 years (in 2021) these technological weapons will see the light at a total price of around 365.000 euros.
Not bad, for a field that has accustomed us to exorbitant figures: 35 BILLION euros have already been spent on the questionable F-380. Death costs less and less, proving to be absolutely the cheapest mass product.
Flying Missile Rail, death costs less
The DARPA project is precisely the answer to the rising cost of new warplanes. If the military can't build a new fighter quickly and cheaply, perhaps they can equip existing fighters with robotic tracks to make fighters more lethal in combat.
“A new advanced monolithic aircraft typically takes 10 to 25 years to design, develop and build,” wrote Jones in his notice to the aerospace industry. “New technology concepts are subject to requirements and other processes that can make them unfeasible before the technology becomes obsolete. An innovative approach is needed to “build on demand” and progressively improve existing capabilities.”
To this end, DARPA wants to do two things: develop a project for the Flying Missile Rail, while developing a process to produce specimens at a rate of 500 units per month. The Air Force and Navy together required only 325 AIM-120s for 2018, which means a production rate of around 27 missiles per month.
Ideally, Flying Missile Rail (or FMR) will be able to do much more than launch a AIM-120. “An FMR is a device that can remain on the wing of an F-16 or F-18 aircraft and release an AIM-120 missile, or alternatively, fly away from the aircraft acting as a booster and extending the range of an AIM- 120, or a small diameter bomb,” he wrote Jones.
In other words, the third world war will be a process with extensive use of reuse: it will also aim to transform existing fighters into unmanned aircraft with combat capabilities. As said, Asimov will be proved wrong: robots will kill.
Technological weapons from the third world war: 50 aircraft for the price of one
The Air Force is also working with the Kratos drone on the so-called “Attritable Low Cost Aircraft”, a small propelled armed drone that (like the Flying Missile Rail) could be produced quickly and cheaply. This contraption can be purchased in batches of 100 LCAAs at a cost of no more than 300 million euros, practically the cost of two F-35 fighters.
Finally, a possible third world war will be fought with many, many scout drones. Small and very agile vehicles that go ahead, draw real maps of the scenario and warn the bombers when the time is right.
If we put all these technological weapons together, we realize where the US is headed. A large-scale air war would have an apocalyptic appearance, with authentic clouds of small or large aircraft obscuring the sky.
In case the irreparable happens, always remember to read also this post.