The Italian air force has begun using its General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator B unmanned air system in Afghanistan, following successful check flights.
Operating from Herat air base in support of the NATO International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command West organisation, the new type will replace the A-model Predators previously flown by the Italian air force in the country.
Equipped with an electro-optical/infrared sensor and a synthetic aperture radar payload, Italy’s unarmed Predator Bs will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks. The type was previously used by the air force during the NATO-led campaign to protect Libyan civilians in 2011.
Italy’s Predator B acquisition totals six air vehicles, plus related equipment.