Saturday, September 08, 2007

Armed UAV kills 2 suspected insurgents

Above: Above, Hellfire missiles are unloaded from a Predator UAV in May. Although the statement is reported to claim that this was the first time a fully-armed UAV had been launched, Predator UAVs capable of firining Hellfire missiles have been in use since 1995, and been in combat over Afghanistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen. 'Hunter' is a common designation of killer drones, and the precise model was not revealed in the statement.

The US army has hailed the killing of two suspected insurgents in northern Iraq by a drone as a landmark in combat aviation history.

A statement said that a Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) successfully killed two "unknown enemies" in Nineveh province after ground troops requested backup.

According to the Pentagon, this represented the first time a fully-armed UAV had been launched.

The military claims that soldiers identified two potential bombers at a "major thoroughfare" used by coalition troops.

Before they could deploy roadside bombs – or improvised explosive devices – as suspected, the Hunter was guided in by pilots and its "precise munition" released; killing both men.

"It's very humbling to know that we have set an army historical mark in having the first successful launch in combat from an army weaponised UAV," said Captain Raymond Fields of the American army's UAV division.

Read the rest at Manchester News

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