General Atomics MQ-1 PREDATOR
Since the 1980s, both the CIA and the USAF wanted a UAV difficult to detect and capable of performing long distance reconnaissance missions without exposing the valuable crews of the conventional aircrafts. In 1994 the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems company won a contract for the development of a new UAV designated as Predator. While still in testing period, the good results led to the deployment of the Predator in the Former Yugoslavia in spring 1995. A Predator unit is composed of 4 air vehicles, a satellite link communication equipment and a ground control station (GCS). First it was designated as “RQ-1 Predator” showing that it was a vehicle suitable for reconnaissance missions only, but from 2002 the USAF changed its designation to “MQ-1 Predator” to reflect its new “multi-role” aspect. Since then, Predator has carried out missions in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria or the Philippines completing thousands of succesful missions. Many of these missions are kept totally secret because they have consisted of the selective elimination of terrorists as well as the attack on their training centers. About 270 Predators were built and the USAF started to retire them from service since March 2018.
MQ-1 PREDATOR gallery and more info