MQ-1 PREDATOR gallery

Predator is a development of previous UAV models such as the Amber or the Gnat, suitable for stealth reconnaissance missions for both military units and intelligence services such as CIA.
This vehicle carries an AN/AAS-52 Multi-spectral Targeting System composed by a color camera for piloting, another for daytime operations and a thermographic type. The Predator sends video images and fixed radar images to its control center and can use a camera with the radar simultaneously if necessary.
The first Predators only performed reconnaissance missions and were designated RQ-1, but since 2002 they were equipped with a laser designator and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles for attack missions under the MQ-1 designation. Likewise, the Predators could act as laser guides for conventional aircraft.
Predator‘s deployment can be done in several ways. One of them consists in the installation of all the control units in the same base, but another way is the deployment of a “forward launch and recovery team”, a satellite datalink team and the Mission Control Element in different locations, this type of missions are designated as “Remote-Split Operations”.
Although almost all the known missions have been military, in 2006 they were granted permission to fly over civilian areas in the event of natural catastrophes, because thanks to its infrared camera with digital zoom it can detect human bodies at 3,000 meters high, which It becomes very effective vehicles for such scenarios.
Although the Predator entered service in 1995, it was from 2001 when the tests for an armed version began. A laser designator and Hellfire missiles were installed and in February 2001 impacts on static targets were achieved.
The anti-terrorist missions of the Predator have always been involved in controversy, since part of the public opinion does not agree with the use of these drones to eliminate people. Despite the criticism, there is evidence of the effectiveness of these missions carried out on Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.
Predator had an autonomy of 24 hours and its longest mission last more than 40 hours. Until the end of 2013 the Predators had reached 2 million flight hours with the loss of more than 70 vehicles. The Predator P-107 surpassed 20,000 flight hours in 2013 in less than 9 years of service. The vehicle incorporates a Rotax turbocharged engine that allows a patrol speed of about 100km/h and a service ceiling of 7,600 meters.
Due to the operational costs and the large number of accidents suffered, (in May 2014, only 154 Predators remained with the USAF), it was decided to begin its withdrawal and strengthen the MQ-9 Reaper, (in the image), fleet. However, the decision was postponed until 2018 due to Daesh’s invasion of Iraq, but they have now been withdrawn.
In addition to the United States, a few countries have acquired the MQ-1 Predator and keep it in service. Italy, Morocco, Turkey and United Arab Emirates are the other users and have 4 Predators each, except Turkey that has 9 units.

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