A Terrorist Trifecta

Mr. Predator and Mr. Hellfire team up to force the two vehicle al Qaeda drive to go three and out.

Most Successful Drone Strike Ever: Were Three Al Qaeda Leaders Killed?

The CIA drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki and chief propagandist Samir Khan may also have taken out the terror organization’s top bombmaker.

Reports say that Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is believed to have constructed both the “underwear” bomb used in the attempted bombing of Northwest flight 253 and the bombs in last year’s parcel bomb plot, may have been with Awlaki and Khan when missiles from a U.S. drone struck their vehicle in Yemen Friday.

See also:
U.S. –born ‘Terrorist No. 1’ Anwar al Awlaki killed in Yemen in major blow to Al Qaeda
Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida cleric and top US target, killed in Yemen
Al-Qaeda terror chief Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen
Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in CIA Drone Strike
American Jihadi Samir Khan Killed With Awlaki
A ‘proud traitor’: Samir Khan reported dead alongside Aulaqi
25-year-old American is killed with mentor Anwar al-Aulaqi in drone strike
Samir Khan named as second US citizen to die in drone strike
Top al Qaeda bombmaker dead in drone strike
Al-Awlaki drone ‘killed bomb-maker’
AQAP bomb maker Asiri thought killed in Yemen Predator strike
U.S. Drone Strike on al-Awlaki Likely Kills al-Qaeda Bomb-maker in Yemen
Anwar al-Awlaki
Samir Khan
Ibrahim al-Asiri

Unfortunately, al-Awlaki and Khan nave already published and recorded more than enough internet material to posthumously radicalize Muslims from here to eternity. Killing them was a good thing, but the damage is already done and their deaths won’t make the recruitment problem go away.

/on the other hand, al-Asiri, the bombmaker, is going to be hard for al Qaeda to replace, he was good, especially at designing nonmetallic explosive devices

It’s A Baby B-2!

Isn’t it cute?

Boeing’s Phantom Ray to fly in December

Boeing will put its Phantom Ray flying wing into the air before the end of the year.

The aerospace giant says that the unmanned aerial vehicle, unveiled at Boeing’s St. Louis facility on Monday, is on track to make its first flight in December. The Phantom Ray will be a testbed for unspecified “advanced technologies,” and in a press release Monday, Boeing rattled off an array of potential missions for the aircraft, from the now standard UAV tasks of recon and surveillance to aerial refueling, electronic attack, and the menacingly vague “strike.” (A separate Boeing feature on the Phantom Ray makes reference to a potential “hunter/killer” mission, which would put it in the same category as the MQ-9 Reaper already in use by the U.S. Air Force.)

Leading up to the planned December flight will be a summer schedule of taxi tests. The debut flight for the one-off prototype aircraft will be followed, Boeing said, by up to nine more flights over the ensuing six months.

“The initial flights will take Phantom Ray through its paces for the flight test profile. Beyond that, the missions and systems tested will be determined by future warfighter needs,” said Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing, in a statement.

Looking like a boomerang with a bump in the middle, the Phantom Ray is 36 feet long and has a wingspan of 50 feet. Weighing in at 36,500 pounds, it has a cruising speed of 614 mph, or 0.8 Mach, and an operating altitude of 40,000 feet. It’s powered by an F404-GE-102D turbofan engine.

Boeing is touting the UAV as an example of the ability of its Phantom Works unit to do rapid prototyping, and it’s also funding the project internally. A feasibility study took place in spring 2008, and the program got the green light in the fall of that year, the company said. Of course, they had something of a head start–the Phantom Ray design is derived from that of the X-45C experimental aircraft, part of the Defense Department’s J-UCAS effort in which Boeing was participating.

See also:
Boeing Feature Story: Phantom Ray makes its debut in St. Louis
Boeing says jet-sized drone on track to fly in December
Boeing unveils the fighter-sized Phantom Ray
Boeing unveils Phantom Ray in St. Louis
Boeing unveils Phantom Ray aircraft
Boeing unveils unmanned Phantom Ray demonstrator
Meet Boeing’s Phantom Ray while you can see it
‘Phantom Ray’ to Revive Boeing’s X-45C Unmanned Combat Aircraft
Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s Phantom Works
Boeing Phantom Works
Boeing X-45
Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS)

Hmmm, I wonder how much these beauties cost?

/we could use several hundred of them for a swarm attack on Iran, without risking any pilots