U.S. Predators to hunt Scud missiles in western Iraq

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The U.S. military plans to use advanced unmanned air vehicles to track and destroy medium-range Scud missiles and batteries in western Iraq.

U.S. officials said the U.S. Air Force will deploy the Predator UAV to loiter over western Iraq in an effort to detect Scud missiles in the area.

The officials said Iraq is expected to use the region near the Jordanian border in launching any missile attack on Israel.

Get $250,000 in Term Life Insurance For About 5 Cents A Day.
According to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, there's no better bargain than term life insurance. And you can do it right now, online, in a matter of seconds. No obligation -
Get Your FREE Quote: Click Here Now For Details!
The Predator is meant to bolster reconnaissance operations by U-2 aircraft over western and southern Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported. The RQ-1 Predator, with a range of more than 800 kilometers, has an endurance of more than 24 hours.

The UAV, employed extensively in the war in Afghanistan, has synthetic aperture radar and electro-optical infrared sensors. The Predator can relay still photographs and live video feeds of ground-based activity from an altitude of more than 10,000 feet.

"They will play a key role in the intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance [ISR] mission and Scud hunting operations across all of Iraq," a report by the Washington-based Center for Defense Information said.

"Tactics using Predators armed with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles have been refined through actual operations in Afghanistan and extensive work done by U.S. Navy and Air Force strike warfare tacticians."

Officials said some of the Predators will probably be deployed with Hellfire anti-tank weapons in western Iraq. But they said such use would be limited.

The U.S. Air Force has also begun to deploy the Global Hawk UAV. The Global Hawk has an endurance of more than 40 hours and can fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet, out of the range of many anti-aircraft weapons. Three out of the seven Global Hawks have already crashed.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts
Search Worldwide Web Search Search WorldTrib Archives

See current edition of

Return to World Front Cover

Back to School Sweepstakes