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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., MQ-1L Predator A | by Danburg Murmur
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., MQ-1L Predator A

The Predator can provide near real-time reconnaissance using a satellite data link system and perform attack missions as well. It served over the Balkans and Afghanistan and during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The most historic use of the Predator/Hellfire missile combination occurred when CIA ground forces directed attacks against al Qaeda forces during the opening months of the war on terrorism.


This U.S. Air Force Predator was one of the first three UAVs to fly operational missions over Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It went on to fly 196 combat missions in Afghanistan. It was also the first Predator to test fire the Hellfire-C missile, and the first UAV to fire Hellfire-C missiles in combat. With modifications to its wing length, propeller, avionics, and engine cooling system, it has served as the prototype for subsequent MQ-1L aircraft.


Transferred from the U.S. Air Force


Wingspan: 17 meters (55 ft 6 in)

Length: 8.2 m (27 ft)

Height: 2.1 m (6 ft 9 in)

Weight, empty: 512 kg (1,130 lb)

Weight, gross: 1,020 kg (2,250 lb)

Engine: Rotax 914, 4-cylinder, 101 hp

Armament: 2 AGM-114C Hellfire missiles

Sensors: electro-optical infrared stabilized gimbal with two color video cameras, forward looking infrared synthetic aperature radar

Manufacturer: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., 2000

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Taken on June 22, 2008