The Belgian defence force has resumed unmanned air vehicle flying operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo after one of its Israel Aircraft Industries/Belgian Hunter Consortium B-Hunter UAVs was shot down by a local gunman using a Kalashnikov AK-47 machine gun.

The UAVs have been deployed by Belgium as part of the Euro­pean peacekeeping force Congo (EURFOR Congo), based in Kinshasa.

The UAV was completing a 3h shakedown sortie on 28 July when it passed over marshlands at 1,300ft (400m) near Kinshasa's N'Dolo airport, where EURFOR Congo is based.

EURFOR Congo spokesman Lt Col Peter Fuss, from the German army, says that the incident is being treated as a "lucky shot" by a lone gunman, "a single guy with a criminal background", rather than rebel activity.

The bullet hit the main wing spar, causing it to shatter.

Source: Flight International