A GIANT breathing drone could change the face of modern warfare by hovering over battlefields “indefinitely” secretly monitoring enemy movements.
Some experts believe the Phoenix – which look like a giant bomb – could eventually be perfect for a wide array of military and civilian surveillance uses.
Experts believe the Phoenix is suitable for a wide array of military and civilian missions[/caption]
The UK-built drone, which measures 49 feet long and is 34 feet wide, uses a unique “variable-buoyancy propulsion system” to move through the air.
That means as it “breathes” in the air it becomes heavier and then uses its wings to steer forward and into an altitude-losing dive.
It can then release the air enabling it to rise back in the air again eventually up to 20,000ft, reports Popular Mechanics.
The huge drone also has its own supply of helium – or hydrogen- to provide increased buoyancy.
Since it doesn’t have a combustion motor and the need for fuel, theoretically the Phoenix could stay aloft indefinitely – perfect for a floating monitor for military forces.
And if it does get spotted and shot down it’s so inexpensive to build its designers – who come from several universities and small businesses in the UK – describe it as “near disposable.”
The drone has been built by the government-backed Innovate UK initiative.
Drones are seen as key to the future of modern warfare and billions have been invested by top brass to ensure they stay ahead of their rivals.
Last week we told how Vladimir Putin’s unveiled the latest weapon in Russia’s fearsome arsenal – a nuclear sub capable of triggering TSUNAMIS which can destroy entire cities.
The 14,700-ton Belgorod, which is twice the size of the Royal Navy’s Astute-class attack submarines, bristles with nuclear-tipped underwater drone torpedoes guided by artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, America’s elite fighter pilots are to fly into future battles alongside swarms of deadly drone wingmen, it’s been revealed.
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The UK-built drone measures 49 feet long and is 34 feet wide[/caption]