General Atomics’ Avenger — the newest iteration of the classic Predator — is headed to war for the first time, Danger Room’s David Axe reports. It’s got F-35 sensors, loads of stealth weapons bays, and terrain-sweeping radar. Iran: start licking your lips.
Axe suspects the new drone is intended for Iran, not Afghanistan, where its stealth capabilities don’t really make sense against the primitive Taliban. But either way, one has to question the judgment of sending over our latest and greatest just two weeks after we lost the previously latest and greatest. The Pentagon must be pretty confident that this one won’t mysteriously fly away and into an Iranian high school gym. But the Air Force will want something in the region to show Tehran it has more up its sleeve. Even as the ground war winds down, drone strikes have remained a mainstay of blowing things up in that corner of the planet. Just don’t stick that sleeve directly into Tehran’s pocket. [Danger Room]