Friday, April 20, 2007

The Next Predator Drone

The Pentagon has a cool, new toy:

The Predator drone aircraft has been one of the most successful, and controversial, tools in Iraq and elsewhere. But while the Predator was designed as a reconnaissance airplane - and later retrofitted with Hellfire missiles - its successor was designed to attack.

The MQ-9 Reaper is twice as fast as the Predator, and can carry far more ordinance - 14 Hellfire missiles as opposed to two. Military officials are calling it the first "hunter-killer UAV."

Reaper pilots have just started training at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. They expect to fly combat missions this summer in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report goes on to say that the when the Reaper is sent into battle in Iraq or Afghanistan, the pilots will be sitting on a base in Nevada.

As Jack Nicholson, playing "The Joker," said in the original Batman film:
"How does he get such wonderful toys?"

Answer: Lots of tax dollars spent on research and development to secure this country's defense and save American lives.

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