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US Air Force accepts delivery of final MQ-1 Predator


An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft prepares for takeoff in support of operations in Southwest Asia.Photo: USAF

OHIO (BNS): The US Air Force has accepted the final MQ-1 Predator tail number 268, at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

"This event marks a milestone in US Air Force history given the path this aircraft took from conception to operational excellence. The Predator is a great example of the Air Force's response to an immediate war-fighter need," Col. Christopher Coombs, the chief of the Aeronautical Systems Center's Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems Division said.

Since its first flight in July 1994, the MQ-1 series has accumulated over 900,000 flight hours and maintained a fleet fully mission capable rate over 90 percent, making it one of the war-fighter's most valuable assets, he added.

The MQ-1 is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft. Its primary missions are close air support, air interdiction, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The Predator acts as a joint forces air component commander-owned theater asset for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of the joint forces commander.

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