March 16, 2010 |
Thomas J. Cassidy Jr., considered the father of the remotely controlled Predator drone that has redefined warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, retired Monday from the San Diego-area aerospace firm that he helped found and grow. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. said Cassidy, 77, retired as president of its Aircraft Systems Group, which builds unmanned aircraft, including the Predator -- currently the most widely deployed unmanned aerial vehicle in the U.S. arsenal. The company, which disclosed the retirement after an inquiry from a Times reporter, said Cassidy was unavailable for comment.
June 14, 1989 |
An Air Force Titan 4 rocket, America's newest and most powerful unmanned booster, roared into space today in a triumphant maiden flight to reportedly put a $180-million early warning satellite into orbit. The 174-foot rocket's two solid-fuel boosters, each as tall as a 10-story building, flashed to life at 9:18 a.m., shattering the morning calm with a gush of fire and a crackling roar that shook the ground for miles around. Running eight months behind schedule, the Titan 4, centerpiece of a $14-billion military space buildup, thundered from launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, arcing east over the Atlantic Ocean atop a billowing trail of dirty white exhaust.
March 17, 2009 |
U.S. warplanes shot down an Iranian drone aircraft over Iraq last month, the U.S. military announced Monday. The unmanned aircraft, identified as an Ababil 3, was followed for over an hour on Feb. 25 before military commanders ordered jets to fire on it about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. "This was not an accident on the part of the Iranians," the military said.
March 29, 2013 |
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, with medical care and disability benefits weighing heavily for decades to come, according to a new analysis. The bill to taxpayers so far has been $2 trillion, plus $260 billion in interest on the resulting debt. By comparison, the current federal budget is $3.8 trillion. The costs of the wars will continue to mount, said the study's author, Linda Bilmes, a public policy expert at Harvard University.
October 19, 1999 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. said it will consolidate its unmanned aircraft division and cut an undetermined amount of jobs, primarily in Hawthorne. The number of cuts from the division's work force of 550 hasn't been decided, Los Angeles-based Northrop said. The move follows its purchase in July of Ryan Aeronautical, a unit of Allegheny Teledyne Inc. Ryan, is based in San Diego, where it's designing the Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance craft for the Air Force.
August 8, 2002 |
Boeing Co. has been awarded a $460-million defense contract to speed development of the Air Force's X-45B unmanned bomber, the Pentagon said. The money will be used to upgrade the X-45A version of the remote-controlled experimental jet, which first flew in May at Edwards Air Force Base.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 29, 2004 |
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will soon begin using unmanned aircraft to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border to thwart illegal immigrants and drug smugglers from entering the country, a top official said. Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, said the aircraft would allow Border Patrol officers to "better monitor remote border locations in the day or at night."
February 23, 1997 |
After a $1-billion development program, the most powerful unmanned rocket in the U.S. space fleet was ready to make its debut, the U.S. Air Force said. The Titan 4B was scheduled for blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Station today between 12:36 and 4:46 p.m. EST. The 20-story rocket will carry a $200-million satellite capable of detecting missile launches. Similar spacecraft provided an early warning of Iraqi Scud missile launches during the Gulf War.
February 5, 2003 |
As NASA reevaluates manned spaceflight, its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena is pushing ahead with its complex schedule of unmanned missions to the outer reaches of the solar system. JPL and its 5,100 employees remain on track to launch two land rovers to Mars, a deep-space infrared telescope, a probe that will study a comet and an unmanned spacecraft aimed for Saturn, among other programs, over the next 18 months.
December 3, 1995 |
A solar observatory hurtled toward the sun Saturday after rocketing into space on a $1-billion mission. An unmanned Atlas rocket carrying the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, called Soho, blasted off at 12:08 a.m. PST from Cape Canaveral Air Station. Within a few hours, the spacecraft was boosted out of Earth's orbit and heading toward the sun, with its power-generating solar panels and antennas fully extended.