I won't pass on this one, even though...

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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Jack » Mon May 23, 2016 6:28 am

nate wrote:
G-Man wrote:The TR3B keeps popping up over and over again


I wonder what Tiers I and II were, and what systems delivery architecture / roadmap they were part of.

By which I mean, 'Tier' is not a word typically used to describe products themselves, but is the sort of bland business word very commonly used to describe phases of scheduled product development. Like 'Block' in the Apollo era.



Regards, Nate[/quote]

Nate, i cut out your quote from Wikipedia, and place one of my own from same:

Tier System (Deprecated)

The previous classification system, termed the "Tier System", was used by military planners to designate the various individual aircraft elements in an overall usage plan for integrated operations.[4] The Tiers do not refer to specific models of aircraft, but rather roles the aircraft would fill. The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army each have their own tier system, and the systems are themselves not integrated.
US Air Force tiers

Tier N/A: Small/Micro UAV. Role filled by BATMAV (Wasp Block III).[5]
Tier I: Low altitude, long endurance. Role filled by the Gnat 750.[6]
Tier II: Medium altitude, long endurance (MALE). Role currently filled by the Predator and MQ-9 Reaper.
Tier II+: High altitude, long endurance conventional UAV (or HALE UAV). Altitude: 60,000 to 65,000 feet (19,800 m), less than 300 knots (560 km/h) airspeed, 3,000-nautical-mile (6,000 km) radius, 24‑hour time-on-station capability. Complementary to the Tier III- aircraft. Role currently filled by the RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Tier III-: High altitude, long endurance low-observable UAV. Same parameters as, and complementary to, the Tier II+ aircraft. The RQ-3 DarkStar was originally intended to fulfill this role before it was "terminated".[7][8] Role now filled by RQ-170 Sentinel. end quote from: "U.S. military UAS groups" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (UAS is unmanned ariel systems) and it does not reflect the changes in requirements that were made. One of those caused the Tier 3 to downgrade to Tier 3 Minus, Darkstar. One crashed and one is hanging in the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, near Seattle, Washington.
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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby nate » Mon May 23, 2016 7:24 am

Jack wrote:The previous classification system, termed the "Tier System", was used by military planners to designate the various individual aircraft elements in an overall usage plan for integrated operations.[4] The Tiers do not refer to specific models of aircraft, but rather roles the aircraft would fill. The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army each have their own tier system, and the systems are themselves not integrated.


Ooh! Thanks Jack. I knew I'd seen something similar somewhere, which is why 'TR3B' has always ground my teeth a little. For reference, this is from Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._mili ... recated.29

USAF Tier III UAS:
Tier III-: High altitude, long endurance low-observable UAV. Same parameters as, and complementary to, the Tier II+ aircraft. The RQ-3 DarkStar was originally intended to fulfill this role before it was "terminated".[7][8] Role now filled by RQ-170 Sentinel.


Note that the DarkStar is not actually a 'proper' USAF Tier III, as described below.

Marine Tier III UAS:
Tier III: For two decades, the role of medium range tactical UAV was filled by the Pioneer UAV. In July 2007, the Marine Corps announced its intention to retire the aging Pioneer fleet and transition to the RQ-7 Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system by AAI Corporation. The first Marine Shadow systems have already been delivered, and training for their respective Marine Corps units is underway.


The Pioneer began deployment in 1986: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAI_RQ-2_Pioneer
The AAI RQ-2 Pioneer is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that had been utilized by the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Army, and deployed at sea and on land from 1986 until 2007. Initially tested aboard USS Iowa, the RQ-2 Pioneer was placed aboard Iowa-class battleships to provide gunnery spotting, its mission evolving into reconnaissance and surveillance, primarily for amphibious forces.

It was developed jointly by AAI Corporation and Israel Aircraft Industries. The program grew out of successful testing and field operation of the Tadiran Mastiff UAV by the American and Israeli militaries.


And the Israeli Mastiff, in turn, first flew in 1973. UAVs have been around a while. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadiran_Mastiff
The Mastiff is a battlefield UAV built by Tadiran Electronic Industries.

It first flew in 1973. It featured a data-link system and miniaturized electronics that fed live and high-resolution video coverage of the targeted area to operators. It is thus seen as the first modern surveillance UAV.


Back to the tier system. US Army Tier III:
Tier III: Medium Range Tactical UAV. Role currently filled by the MQ-5A/B Hunter and IGNAT/IGNAT-ER, but transitioning to the Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) MQ-1C Gray Eagle.


One of the Wikipedia links, from Edwards AFB, says the USAF Tier III role could not be filled and they settled for Tier III Minus and Tier II Plus specifications. (Less charitably, perhaps it looks like they simply took two candidate vehicles and rewrote the specs to match.)
https://web.archive.org/web/20060514015 ... r/Tier.htm
Early in the 1990s, the Pentagon attempted to develop a classified, high-flying, large-payload, stealthy, autonomous, modest-cost UAV to eventually substitute for the U-2 and SR-71.

Known as Tier III, the program proved too great a challenge, and the requirement was broken down into two segments.

Tier III Minus
The top half of the high-altitude/endurance segment, called Tier III Minus, is the Lockheed Martin DarkStar. The vehicle, which looks like a flying saucer with its wings on backwards, will fly at over 45,000 feet and have either electro-optical or synthetic aperture radar sensors. With a range of over 500 nautical miles, DarkStar will be able to fly surreptitiously over hostile territory and remain there for more than eight hours.

Tier II Plus
The second segment, known as Tier II Plus, is the Teledyne Ryan Global Hawk. Intended as the long-range, high-altitude reconnaissance "workhorse," the Global Hawk flies higher and faster than DarkStar, with a heavier payload, but is not as stealthy.


Right, so there's Teledyne Ryan which suggested the initials TR, which mashed up with 'Tier III' started the 'TR3B' meme. It just seems a bit too convenient to me. It's a very coincidental pun, after all, and the kind of people who design these programs have their senses of humour surgically removed. (As opposed to the people who make NRO mission patches, who get new ones surgically implanted from the Internet's pop culture and fanfic division daily: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... 62/?no-ist).

But... was there in fact a successful UAV that met or even exceeded the USAF Tier III requirements? Which - remember - were set at 'must be able to replace the manned U-2 and SR-71' which is a pretty high bar to clear, although both of those planes are so suspiciously old they may as well be wearing Groucho Marx false moustache kits.

Would such a candidate vehicle able to not only meet but do significantly better than Tier III perhaps have rated a 'Tier III B' designation? Or... perhaps it got dropped out of the official DoD system at some point?

It's interesting to realise, with all the hoopla about 'drones' (a WW2-era word, remember) being tossed around so recently - as if they were only invented in the last 10 years, which may be true for the very latest models - that these UAV programs go back to the 1970s. Maybe it's just that the control electronics got good enough recently? Or was it just that the pro-drone faction won a big political battle somewhere in the Bush era and got the authorisation to go full weapons-hot deployment?

I wonder what DoD UAVs were doing between 1973 to 2007, in other words?

Regards, Nate
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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby re-rose rose » Mon May 23, 2016 4:14 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Jack.
Nate, I would date the modern drone era to 1963 or even earlier:

America's fleet of surveillance and attack drones are far older than most people realize. While the unmanned platforms have certainly come into the spotlight since the start of the War on Terror, they've actually been dutifully getting shot out of the sky on behalf of our national interests since World War I. And one of the most impressive—and impressively named—of their ranks was the Ryan Firebee.


http://gizmodo.com/the-ryan-firebee-gra ... 1155938222

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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Jack » Tue May 24, 2016 3:11 am

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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Linda Brown » Tue May 24, 2016 3:57 am

You guys are so great. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your wonderful contributions. It makes this Forum a sort of Wonderland. Really.
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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby nate » Tue May 24, 2016 5:57 am

Linda Brown wrote:You guys are so great. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your wonderful contributions. It makes this Forum a sort of Wonderland. Really


Thanks Linda! I just enjoy being able to talk about some of these mysteries and jigsaw pieces that have piled up over the years.

Jack, the DarkStar looks very cool - the classic stealth shape mixed with the weird wing shape of UAVs. I guess it would be hard to confuse it for a Black Triangle, though.

I still wonder if black triangles are as man-made as the UFO mainstream (if there's such a thing) believes. In 2001, for example, Kubrick somehow gravitated to a very harsh, angular geometric look for his alien artifacts. The weird thing about it is that that look was totally on the mark; he not only nailed the look of NASA, but of the silicon-chip 80s, which in 1968 were still very much in their early days. And even the slitscan and false-colour sequences in the stargate trip almost unconsciously reach forward to the human near future of space: false-colour planetary surfaces would become the iconic look of all our automated planetary landers, and the 'aliens' in the slitscan trip captured that glowing vector graphics feel of vector graphics and early arcade games. Was Kubrick just feeling toward the future using the best information IBM and his other advisors could give him, or did he somehow dip mystically into the next few decades of cultural zeitgeist?

In 1988, if someone had tried to come up with a black rectangular monolith, everyone would instantly recognise it as 'a computer chip'. Even in 1978, perhaps. But in 1968, that cultural knowledge wasn't quite there yet. And yet, there's Kubrick making it his symbol of 'alien technology'.

The triangles have that sort of 2001 feel about them, to me... They might be real human craft, or they might equally be some kind of zeitgeisty projection from the spooky spaces. Was it perhaps that the saucer shape was getting a bit passe and the Powers That Be wanted to shake things up a bit?

I guess I could go either way. The centre of gravity of the various 'leakers' seems to be that 'there's no DoD, emphasis on DoD, project like that' and that seems plausible. No sensible stealth test pilot of today is going to uncloak their plane in the middle of urban areas, at least it seems to me.

Meanwhile, SF icon William Gibson, who's made a career out of being somewhat spookily prophetic like Kubrick, has made time travel from a possible (and really messed-up) future back to the present or past a central theme of not one but two of his latest projects: his latest book 'The Peripheral', and a comic project 'Archangel' that's just launched. And yes, he's very much inspired in Archangel by the Foo Fighter mythology, so he has US private military contractors from an alternate bad 2016 time-travel a Stealth plane back to 1946.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/02/16/ ... e-for-idw/

I guess there's something about that triangle shape that just won't get out of our collective unconscious. What is it trying to tell us, I wonder?

Regards, Nate
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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Linda Brown » Tue May 24, 2016 2:18 pm

"Fastina Lente"
make haste slowly
I wake up hearing that and seeing a Dolphin and Anchor...
Sometimes it has to be deliberate progress, one step at a time....

" that which has been done well.....has been done quickly enough"
I understand that means something in physics too?

Going back to pages,
best to all of you.
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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby nate » Tue May 24, 2016 11:22 pm

Linda Brown wrote:" that which has been done well.....has been done quickly enough"
I understand that means something in physics too?


Something to do with Bose-Einstein condensates and 'atom lasers', yes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festina_lente
In physics, the name "Festina Lente Limit" has been applied to the Strong Confinement Limit, which is a mode of an atom laser in which the frequency of emission of the Bose–Einstein condensate is less than the confinement frequency of the trap.[14]



A postscript to my comments about time travel appearing in pop imagination: it's popped up this week on Game of Thrones, the zeitgeistiest show of the decade of this decade. Major spoilers at this link if you're a fan and haven't watched the latest episode 'The Door', but:

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/23/ ... n-the-door

And the comments mention that the whole Song of Ice and Fire book series has deep roots in 20th century US politics:
The play in this episode is also quite political, if not so timely. It calls to mind how history has distorted Jimmy Carter. GRRM has talked before about how Carter's presidency was sort of the seed from which the story grew--it helped him realize that good men are not necessarily good leaders, and that there had to be more to fantasy stories than "the good guy becomes the king." Carter was obviously a direct inspiration for Ned Stark--a moral and honorable man eaten alive by a system he didn't understand and couldn't control.


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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Jack » Wed May 25, 2016 6:51 am

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Re: I won't pass on this one, even though...

Postby Linda Brown » Wed May 25, 2016 1:32 pm

"Drones will learn to operate as TEAMS....without human interaction."

It will not need human input to improve itself but while on missions will learn what it NEEDS...to improve.

We are getting really close here to being the useless part of the equation.

There has to be something that a human is able to do that no machine can...and it's the only thing that will save us".....
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