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Air Force Takes Delivery Of Predator Remote Controlled Aircraft

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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc
: 08 March, 2011  (Application Story)
The last MQ-1 Predator remote control aircraft from General Atomics has been delivered to the US Air Force
The US Air Force has accepted MQ-1 Predator tail number 268, the last manufactured for the service, in a ceremony at General Atomics’ Gray Butte Aeronautical Systems' Flight Ops Facility.

Col. James Beissner, Air Combat Command’s Chief Irregular Warfare Division, accepted the aircraft on behalf of the Air Force in front of a crowd of more than 800.

“This event marks a milestone in Air Force history given the path this Aircraft took from conception to operational excellence,” said Col. Christopher Coombs, Aeronautical Systems Center’s Chief of Medium Altitude UAS Division. “The Predator is a great example of the Air Force’s response to an immediate military need.”

Since its first flight in July of 1994, the MQ-1 series has accumulated over 900,000 flight hours and maintained a fleet fully mission capable rate over 90 percent, making it one of the military's most valuable assets, according to Colonel Coombs.

The MQ-1B Predator is a Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance, Remotely Piloted Aircraft. Its primary missions are close Air Support, Air Interdiction, and ISR. It acts as a Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned theatre asset for Reconnaissance, Surveillance and target acquisition in support of the Joint Forces Commander.
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