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


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United States


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems


Unmanned aerial vehicle

Entered service


Combat weight

1,020 kg

Dimensions (length x wingspan x height)

8.22 x 14.80 x 2.10 meters

Wing area

11.50 m2

Power plant

1 x Rotax 914F turbocharged engine, 115 hp


Max. 217 km/h – Cruise 165 km/h

Ceiling, (maximum)

7,600 meters


1,200 km


2 underwings hardpoints for combinations of Air-to-Air or Air-to-Surface missiles

Air-to-air missiles

4 x AIM.92 Stinger

Air-to-surface missiles

Type: AGM.114 Hellfire – AGM.176 Griffin


About 300 of all variants