Air Force unveils Predator UAV

Released: Jan 31, 1997

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's 11th Reconnaissance Squadron unveiled its Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to the public Jan. 31, at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field.

The ceremony included a launch of the UAV and a static display for the public to view.

Predators are also known as the Tier II Medium Altitude Endurance UAV. Produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, San Diego, the drones are 27 feet long with a wingspan of approximately 49 feet. With a loiter time of up to 40 hours and a maximum ceiling of 25,000 feet, these aerial "eyes in the sky" can operate in high-risk areas without endangering an aircrew.

Additionally, the UAV's real-time imagery can be relayed to combined air operations centers or joint intelligence centers via satellites to provide commanders on the ground information to make accurate and timely decisions.

The 11th RS received its first two Predator UAVs in November 1996. Each UAV costs less than $3 million dollars and the 11th RS is programmed to receive 45 of the vehicles.

The 11th RS belongs to the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)