A few years ago, I was browsing around one of Columbus’ best comic shops and stumbled upon a great graphic novel. Titanium Rain, by Josh Finney (author) and Kat Rocha (illustrator), chronicles a combat pilot that’s a part of an elite unit that has undergone cybernetic enhancements to increase their combat potential.
The timeline: in the near future
The battlefield: a Chinese civil war (I love the name Jade Empire)
Throw in a few early prototype mechas & some UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) and you have the makings of a great story!
So while I wait on volume 2 of the story to be delivered, I read at Wired the other day that the next step in the evolution of the UCAS had its maiden voyage earlier in the week. Boeing’s Phantom Ray will have a 1500 mile range, will be able to fly up to mach 0.85 and will serve as a hunter/killer, a reconnaissance platform, and/or an electronic warfare sentinel. I envision that for many near-future battles, UCAS hardware like the Phantom Ray will become the military’s tip of the spear (a role currently served by cruise missiles).
Stealthy and quick, the looks of the Phantom Ray alone will strike fear into the hearts of any enemy on the wrong side of America’s wrath. I’ve said it before, I would not want to go up against the US anytime soon.