No Pilotless Nuclear Bomber

There’s been some talk that the next-generation strategic bomber family of systems might include an unmanned version, but Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula last week dispelled any thought that such a craft might be nuclear capable. Speaking at an Aviation Week-sponsored event in Washington, Deptula said, “Technology might allow us to do something, but we have to apply common sense as to whether or not it fits into the overall defense equation,” reported Government Executive. Bluntly speaking, he said, “We could do it, [but] why would you?” Deptula also discussed the imminent fielding of the new Gorgon Stare sensor, initially on the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted vehicle and USAF’s ongoing work with DARPA to develop technologies—not just add more manpower—to sift through the enormous loads of data such systems will introduce.