We knew about military air drones and how they were being deployed in real scenarios, but this is the first time one has made a kill. Two in fact. The drone was a MQ-5B/C Hunter which obliterated two suspected terrorists planting a bomb in a road near Qayyarah, Iraq. More details and a picture of the Hunter after the jump.
Multinational Force I Press Statement
A Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle engaged and killed two suspected improvised explosive device emplacers overwatching a major thoroughfare for Coalition Forces during a historic flight near Qayyarah, Iraq, in Nineveh province Sept. 1.
A scout weapons team from 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, observed the two unknown enemy fighters in a tactical overwatch near the roadside. The SWT requested support from the Hunter UAV.
The pilots guided the Hunter operator to the scene where it set up for a strike mission and dropped its precision munition, killing both unknown enemies and marking a first in Army Aviation history.
"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," said Capt. Raymond Fields, commander, Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Company. "This would not be possible without my Soldiers and civilians working hard day in and day out in Iraq to accomplish this feat."
Fields continued, "I think that this success will set the tone for Army Aviation in years to come. 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."
"This accomplishment adds a precise and discriminate means for our Army to successfully engage the enemy in counterinsurgency warfare," said Col. A.T. Ball, commander, 25th CAB.