Predator - end of an Icon

Sub-scale and Full-Scale Aerial Targets and RPAs - Remotely-Piloted Aircraft
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popcorn

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Unread post28 Feb 2017, 03:40

After 21 years, the end of the road is in sight for the trailblazing platform. A great example of putting a new, unproven system into the hands of the end-users and allowing it to evolve in response to actual operational needs.

http://www.defencetalk.com/usaf-prepare ... res-69292/

USAF Prepares for All MQ-9 Force as MQ-1 Predator Retires

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE: For the past 21 years the Air Force has flown the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator in combat, and for the last 10, the MQ-9 Reaper. Combined with a skilled aircrew, these aircraft provide consistent support in daily engagements making an impact downrange.

While the MQ-1 has provided many years of service, the time has come for the Air Force to fly the more capable MQ-9 exclusively, and retire the MQ-1 in early 2018 to keep up with the continuously evolving battlespace environment...

“I think when we look at the legacy of the MQ-1 we’re going to be scratching our heads wondering how we did so much with so little,” Joseph said. “The men and women flying them starting with two squadrons took a science project and throughout many evolutionary changes made it what it is today.”

The MQ-1 began as the RQ-1 Predator, an unarmed RPA flown by line-of-sight. Some changes include the adding of the Multi-Spectral Targeting system, the addition of weapons and remote-split operations capability.

“The MQ-1 is a great example where the Air Force took a technology demonstrator and turned it into a major weapons system having daily effects on the battlefield,” James said. “We have found how to fly an imperfect weapons system very well, and I think we have maximized the effectiveness that we can get out of the MQ-1. I have no doubt that we will continue to find ways to be more effective in combat with the MQ-9.”
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post28 Feb 2017, 04:56

It was always comforting to hear that lawnmower in the sky.
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