New Delhi – Yesterday the UN Security Council announced the release of a newly tested strike and surveillance UAV, or drone, which is made to look “friendlier” than its U.S. Predator counterpart. This drone will assist UN peacekeeping forces, especially within heavily hostile zones.
The new UN UAV is known as the UPB-14 and is the fourth prototype in the Peace Bringer line by Lockheed Martin. The UPB-14 will be able to retain 100 percent of its strike capabilities; however, there is a certain aspect of these drones that differs from all the rest in the air today.
These new UAVs are decorated to appear more “friendly” to the general public. The reason for the change in the UPB-14 aesthetics is due to recent negative connotations about drone usage against terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, because of the collateral damage they often inflict. The changes were conceptualized through intensive focus group testing.
A Drone In Sheep’s Clothing?
On the underside of each drone will be painted an image that is said to provide a cooling, calming effect on the negative perception drones have received.
According to UN Security Council spokesperson Abdi Qumar, “We believe that drones are excellent weapons, and the public needs to understand that drones save lives. Sure, there is some killing that they do, but this just goes with the territory.” He continued, “The new drones will be much easier for the public to accept.”
There are five different images that could be painted on the underside of a UPB-14. These images were taken from Google Images and rigorously tested for positive, euphoric psychological effects. The underside of the drones could display a puppy, a butterfly, a peace symbol, a smiley face and the iconic “Hope” painting of President Barack Obama.
“As the people look up and see a UPB-14, they will suddenly feel happy. We want to let them know that all is well,” said a Lockheed Martin representative.
However, some believe this to be an attempt at the impossible. In many parts of the world, drones will never shake the negative connotations that they have developed in the last decade. One source inside the UN Security Council was not convinced that these new UAVs would provide the desired effect. “You can paint an elephant, but people know that this isn’t going to stop it from trampling through your village. The UN’s attempt at this is futile,” said the unnamed source.
Lawsuit Pending For Drone Advertising
In order to pay for the new Peace Bringer line, the UN Security Council decided to generate advertising revenue by trailing aerial ad banners behind the UAVs. However, several companies, including Black and Decker, Mary Kay, Ceramcor of Xtrema cookwear, Bob’s OC Fry Shack and Abercrombie & Fitch, are suing the UN and Lockheed Martin because the terms of this advertising were not clearly stated in the contract.
“We were under the impression that our advertisements would be displayed at celebratory events and during flight demonstrations. Not in warzones,” said a Mary Kay spokesperson.
The Peace Bringer line has not officially been rolled out; however, these lawsuits were in response to reports that the UN has been deploying its new UPB-14s ahead of schedule. Though the new drones are not scheduled for release and full-militarized deployment until next month, apparently there has already been hot testing. Some suspect that the UN was hoping to pay its bills ahead of schedule.
Analysts believe that the recent drone strike and death of infamous former Mujahideen fighter and al Qaeda leader Mujeeb bin Hadiyatullah was the work of a UPB-14 drone. One reason for this suspicion is that the week after Hadiyatullah’s death, Baghdad’s Abercrombie & Fitch saw a 27% increase in sales over the subsequent week.