Oct 112015
 

I recently read an article that’s getting a lot of traction on the web regarding the amount of Toyota Hiluxs that ISIS is banging around in. Allegedly the US Government is pissy with Toyota because somehow this is their fault. Seriously, it’s like they don’t understand the basic principles of a free market. People give Toyota money in exchange for cars. Then these people sell the cars to other people and before long they’re in the hands of ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and every other black flag waving dickhead. The real question is why do the world’s worst choose the Toyota Hilux over every other option?

That question’s easy to answer… it’s because Toyotas are built Taliban Tough. No shit I’ve seen Hiluxs take punishment that other pickups simply can’t. They’ve been strafed by miniguns, blasted by Hellfire missiles, and still keep rolling.

The Taliban Love Their TOYOTA's

The Taliban Love Their TOYOTAs

Not only does the Hilux reign supreme in the Middle East it also thrives in the harshest place in the world… Australia. Aussies are notoriously hard on their pickups and the Toyota truck is the highest selling vehicle on the market. Farmers in OZ treat these trucks with even more disrespect than the Taliban.

Don’t belive me that these things are tough? Then check out this series of torture tests that the team at Top Gear put one through.

All this evidence makes it pretty easy to see why ISIS want to drive Hiluxs. They’re cheap, they go hard, and they’re pretty much indestructible. However, if ISIS wants real street cred they need to start getting around in VW diesel Polos and Golfs. They’re not only tough but they’re also polluting the world at 10 times the rate of other cars… eco-terrorism at its best.

Nov 232011
 

A team of SF operators is postured outside a compound in downtown Kandahar. Intel has led them this far; inside the compound is a Taliban commander responsible for numerous civilian and military casualties. It’s unknown who else are inside with him; heavily armed fighters, a suicide bomber, or innocent women and children? One of the operators rips a device the size of a book from a pouch and flicks it open. He takes out a tiny 15 gram nano-UAV, snaps the rotor blade onto the body and throws it in the air. It shoots up and over the mud-brick wall, the onboard camera beaming a clear picture back to the screen in his hands. Unseen it silently zips past four armed guards in front of the main building and enters through an open window. Inside a group of men are holding a shura. The target has been identified! With a crump the team breaches the compound and rapidly overwhelms the security detail. They make a bee-line for the room containing the target. Moments later the dust has settled and the objective is zip-tied, hooded and ready for processing.

Sounds like something straight out of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare right? Wrong, it’s the not so distant future for UK SF. The Ministry of Defence has just awarded a contract to Prox Dynamics to provide lightweight nano-UAVs for urgent deployment to Afghanistan.

The device selected is the PD-100 Personal Reconnaissance System and comes packaged inside a base station that holds three UAVs and weighs less than kilo.  The idea is an operator can fly one of these UAVs into a building to identify civilians, terrorists, IEDs or other threats.

It’s still early days for this technology and although the MoD contract specifies Night Vision this is yet to be featured on the PD-100. However GPS navigation and a live-video feed in a matchbox-sized package is impressive and it’s only a matter of time before these are able to see in the dark. Odds are they’re going to get even smaller, not to mention that basic reconnaissance is just the beginning. I’ll wager we’ll eventually see miniature payloads for tracking or listening devices, and maybe even a Mossad-style chemical injection weapon for a standoff offensive capability. Yeah large unmanned platforms have been the focus for development over the last decade but expect to hear a lot more about nano-UAVs.

Til next time,

Jack