Officials said a scout weapons team from the army's 2nd Battalion, 25th
Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, observed the two suspected
insurgents near a road. The team requested support from the Hunter UAV,
which was guided to the scene and dropped its precision munitions.
were killed, Middle East Newsline reported.
"It's very humbling to know that we have set an army historical mark in
having the first successful launch in combat from an army weaponized UAV,"
Capt. Raymond Fields, commander of the Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Company,
The U.S. Army received the first Hunter UAVs in 1993 in a contract with
IAI. After management difficulties, the project was taken over by Northrop
Grumman, which has enhanced the Hunter UAV to conduct combat missions.
"I think that this success will set the tone for army aviation in years
to come," Fields said. "We will see more weaponized army unmanned vehicles
being used instead of manned platforms to save not only our aviator
brethren, but our army ground brethren from enemy contact."
Officials said the Hunter has been the army's UAV workhorse. They
said the successful mission would increase the use of Hunter for attack
operations in Iraq. The Hunter has been equipped with Viper anti-tank
"This accomplishment adds a precise and discriminate means for our army
to successfully engage the enemy in counterinsurgency warfare," Col. A.T.
Ball, commander, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, said on Sept. 8.