"We neutralized both targets," Sgt. Jerry Rhoades, who operated the UAV,
Warrior-Alpha is an extended range, multi-purpose hybrid UAV designed by
General Atomics. The UAV platform, a derivative of the MQ-1 Predator and
designed for reconnaissance, contains electro-optical/infrared or synthetic
aperture radar payloads as well as both a laser rangefinder designator and a
laser target marker.
Since 2007, the army has been using UAVs to detect improvised explosive
devices and target IED squads in Iraq. The army has also used the
Israeli-designed MQ-5 Hunter UAV, enhanced by Northrop Grumman to fire
"Anytime you can see the enemy and he doesn't know you're watching is a
good thing, but not good enough," U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard
Cody said in an address to an industry conference in 2007. "You also must be
able to do something about it, and that's what we've been able to do."
Officials said Warrior Alpha and the MQ-5 Hunter have been equipped with
advanced sensors and other equipment to both detect and strike IED squads.
They said at least four additional UAV systems deployed in Iraq would be
provided this capability in 2009. The Hunter was said to have been equipped
with a sensor
titled Green Dart.
"Say we see someone emplacing IEDs," Rhoades said. "If we can see it,
our customer can see it, and they can call in a team to diffuse it. But that
puts ground troops in harm's way. If we have Hellfires on board, we can get
authorization, take out the whole emplacement, and no ground troops get