June 7, 2002: UAV Launches a UAV

  • Published
  • Air force Flight Test Center

A multi-role, remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (MQ-1) Predator launched a mini-UAV while in flight over Edwards Air Force Base.  This became the first time an operational UAV demonstrated the capability to carry and launch another such aerial vehicle.  The mini-UAV, a 57-pound Navy Flight Inserted Detector Expendable for Reconnaissance (FINDER) was carried on a wing pylon and released at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Following launch, it successfully conducted a 25-minute pre-programmed mission before a flight technician took control and landed it on the lakebed.

The MQ-1B Predator operates as an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets.  Given its ability to loiter in an area for a significant amount of time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination and reconnaissance sorties against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. Predators can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance. The MQ-1's capabilities make it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.

News Search