Unmanned Aircraft Systems History: Predator

ATI courses is scheduled to present Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Applications course on June 7, 2011 in Dayton, OH and June 14, 2011 in Columbia, MD. We thought that the news below would be interesting to our blog readers. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. presented it’s last MQ-1B Predator to US Air Force March 3, […]

ATI courses is scheduled to present Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Applications course on June 7, 2011 in Dayton, OH and June 14, 2011 in Columbia, MD. We thought that the news below would be interesting to our blog readers.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. presented it’s last MQ-1B Predator to US Air Force March 3, 2011.

The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was created in the early 1990s for reconnaissance and forward observation roles. The Predator carries cameras and other sensors but has been modified and upgraded to carry and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or other munitions. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen.

The USAF describes the Predator as a “Tier II” MALE UAS (medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV system). The UAS consists of four aircraft or “air vehicles” with sensors, a ground control station (GCS), and a primary satellite link communication suite. Powered by a Rotax engine and driven by a propeller, the air vehicle can fly up to 400 nautical miles (740 km) to a target, loiter overhead for 14 hours, then return to its base.

Following 2001, the RQ-1 Predator drone became the primary UAV used for offensive operations by the USAF and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas. It has also been deployed in other locations. Because offensive uses of the Predator are classified, US military officials have reported an appreciation for the intelligence and reconnaissance-gathering abilities of UAVs but declined to discuss their offensive use in public.

Civilian applications have included border enforcement and scientific studies.

Read more about the circumstances that led to Leading Systems’ bankruptcy (which designed Predator’s predecessor’s Amber and GNAT 750), the key challenges overcome during the Predator’s breakthrough deployment to Bosnia in 1995 and what it takes to introduce an innovative product in the military aircraft industry. http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2011/03/a-history-of-predator-from-the.html


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One thought on “Unmanned Aircraft Systems History: Predator

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