4. Summary

The Predator UAV system provides vital NRT imagery to the Theater and/or JTF commander during day or night in most weather conditions. When employed effectively within the overall collection management effort, the system will enhance the collection and dissemination of still and NRT video imagery at all levels throughout the theater. The strengths and weaknesses of the system are summarized below:

a. Strengths

b. Weaknesses

c. Funded P3I

Three per-planned product improvements are currently funded for evaluation and for further incorporation into the baseline Predator production system. These improvements are installation of a anti-icing capability, the addition of an AN/APX-100 IFF transponder, and the addition of an AN/ARC-210 VHF/UHF voice capability to allow the pilot to talk through the air vehicle directly to the air control agency. These improvements should be integrated during FY 97. Other P3I programs will be initiated as resources allow. In conjunction with the anti-icing initiative, a Rotax 914 supercharged variant of the current Rotax 912 engine is being used to improve Predator's performance

d. Future Imagery Improvements

Imagery improvements of various types are under review. Potential improvements include a digital camera and the addition of imagery enhancement software techniques at various points within the video chain.