Drone Wars: Wheeler Responds

Lots of discussion on the Predator/Reaper Class A post. And I take the point that the drones tend to crash on landing a lot and that that may be a major factor in the rate vice shootdowns. But Winslow remains undeterred:

Some interesting, and instructive, comments from some of those who reacted to your piece.  While I cannot but think that a high, straight, level, slow, unable to react Predator/Reaper would be a boon to radar SAM exporters by giving them heretofore untold (and unprecedented) success, it would be interesting to see what portion of hostile fire kills are from what sources for drones, and - as one commenter implied - what the drone was doing and how high when it was shot down.  I would love to see the data sources on that, plus the materials you used to make the statements you did.  I say that not to challenge you, but simply to get the data. Sometimes there's some extraordinary stuff lurking there.  Sadly, in the blogging world, everyone seems to think they should shout out their opinions rather than showing their data and the documents backing them up.

As to backing up my assertion, above, implying the ineffectiveness of radar SAMs, I cite our GAO report on Desert Storm (attached and find it at http://www.gao.gov/archive/1997/ns97134.pdf). There, SAMs were the least effective Iraqi air defense system, and, no, that was not because the F-117s took them out (a myth; it didn't happen); read the report.

I also appreciate the link from a commenter yesterday of the video of a MiG shooting down a Georgian drone. Or was it Taliban air force?

I'll work more agressively to find out the cause of the high loss rate from USAF sources. If anyone else out there has some gouge on this, please let us know via the Tip Line.

-- Christian

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