Predator C Avenger bound for testing in Afghanistan

The Air Force has ordered a single Predator C Avenger for deployment to Afghanistan as part of a procurement effort to meet an urgent request from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to field reconnaissance and strike assets in theater, reports Zach Rosenberg at Flightglobal.

The service plans to use the jet-powered Predator C, made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, in a test capacity to fly to targets more rapidly than the MQ-9 Reaper, Air Force officials said. The unmanned aircraft’s internal weapons bay and four hardpoints on each wing allow it to accommodate a large selection of next-generation sensor and weapons payloads, they said.

The Air Force purchase might be the first order of the aircraft, which has been available since 2009, the story states.

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