Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boeing's Unmanned Phantom Ray

The big new trend among wargadget makers seems to be the elimination of the fleshy operator, and we're seeing it happening with helicopters, boats, and even space shuttles. The Phantom Ray is Boeing's take on how we can do the same to jet fighters, and it's had its official unveiling in St. Louis this week. Primarily intended to serve as a reconnaissance and intelligence drone, this 36 foot-long airborne robot will be able to cruise at speeds of up to 614mph, and will even do a bit of suppression fire when you need it to. It's designed to be undetectable by radar and offers a minimal heat signature for missiles to lock on to, as its engine is buried deep within the body. Sounds ominous indeed, but the Phantom Ray will serve as the testbed for even more advanced technologies and will take its first flight in December of this year. See its grand debut on video after the break.

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