Predator C heading to Afghanistan, packing a 2,000-pounder

Thumbnail image for avenger.gif The US Air Force in Afghanistan has given itself an early Christmas present — a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator C Avenger.

The jet-powered, stealthy unmanned air system (UAS) with — and this is important — an internal weapons bay is going to Afghanistan.

The Aeronautical Systems Center on 9 December released a document justifying why the service needs to award a sole-source contract to General Atomics for a Predator C to deploy to Operation Enduring Freedom as a test aircraft.

With the Avenger, the USAF’s “classified customer” will have an aircraft that can drop 900kg (2,000lb) bombs. (Note to the underground residents of Natanz and Qoms: GBU-24 penetrator bombs weigh about 900kg. Just, um, FYI.)

By the way, don’t think the Predator C is intended to replace the hostage Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel. The 9 December notice says the USAF started the process of buying the Predator C on 5 July.


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