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On Aug. 8, the Army selected a derivative of the Air Force’s Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), called Warrior, to be its new fixed-wing, Extended-Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV. It will be fielded at the division level rather than the corps level as previously planned. Losing out in the competition, which included system flight demonstrations early this year, was Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems’ Hunter II, based on Israel Aircraft Industries’ Heron.
The contract includes the delivery and testing of 17 Warrior air vehicles and seven ground stations, the first in 20 months. The Army plans to field Warrior initially in fiscal 2009 and to buy a total of 132 air vehicles within 11 Warrior UAV systems.
Warrior has 90 percent air vehicle commonality with Predator. Modifications will be made to the wing’s size and to the landing gear and nearby bulkheads so Warrior can fly up to 29,000 feet, 4,000 feet higher than Predator, and carry a larger payload. Warrior’s maximum speed will be 150 knots and its flight endurance more than 30 hours; Predator’s maximum speed is 120 knots and its endurance is 40 hours. Warrior’s unrefueled range will be greater than 162 nautical miles (300 kilometers). Like Predator, Warrior will be armed, but it will carry up to four Hellfire air-to-ground missiles compared to Predator’s two.
Army To Buy Predator Drones
Originally posted by FredT
Good find. Its interesting to se this purchase considering that they is a jet powered Predator C variant. I wonder if it has gone black?