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Photo Captures Mystery Drone Operating Over Afghanistan

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posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:07 AM

Photo Captures Mystery Drone Operating Over Afghanistan

For months, aerospace writers have been hot on the trail of a secret drone rumored to be flying over Afghanistan. Now, a French journalist has successfully captured a picture of this mysterious unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which experts have linked to defense giant Lockheed Martin.

This photo, taken in Kandahar, provides more evidence to claims that unidentified drones are flying over Afghanistan, to go along with well-known models -- such as the Predator UAV -- long acknowledged by the Pentagon. A vexing question remains, though: What's it being used for?

UAVs, once an esoteric military weapon, have grown in use and prominence in recent years, particularly in the CIA's expanded "drone war" in Pakistan. Confirmation of this new, secret UAV, however, raises the intriguing question of whether the public is still entirely in the dark about some aspects of this military strategy.

When reports of the mystery drone circulated in April, some speculated it was related to a Lockheed aircraft called the Desert Prowler. But the aircraft in the latest photo appears to share features with a different Lockheed model, the Polecat. "The half-moon exhaust pipe strikingly resembles the P175 Polecat, a [Lockheed] Skunk Works product," aerospace reporter Stephen Trimble writes on his DEW Line blog, referring to a stealthy Lockheed prototype plane that the company says crashed in 2007.

According to one estimate, the mystery plane's deployment in Afghanistan dates back about two years. "It's believed that the first of a small batch of aircraft flew in late 2005 and were operational in Afghanistan in 2007 (where this photo was probably taken)," aerospace reporter Bill Sweetman says on Aviation Week's ARES blog.

While earlier reports speculated the mystery aircraft could be an armed drone, the new photographic evidence seems to point to a stealthy spy plane with surveillance and communications equipment. But that still leaves other questions.

"Why use a stealth aircraft against an adversary that doesn't have radar?" Sweetman asks. "And if it was part of some Secret Squirrel operation against the Taliban, what in the blue blazes was it doing outdoors in daylight?"

It may take the Pentagon to provide those final answers.


posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:13 AM
perhaps they're testing it. i'm sure allies have radars so if they do, and no one detects it, then i guess it works.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:20 AM
Looks like the Lockheed-Martin P-175, a.k.a Polecat.

edit: oops, reading the whole article might help

[edit on 2-12-2009 by fumanchu]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:21 AM
Better photo from here. Looks badass, wondering how many thought it was a ufo.

Originally posted by fumanchu
Looks like the Lockheed-Martin P-175, a.k.a Polecat.

Yeah that photo is. Gizmodo however has the photo in question.

[edit on 2/12/2009 by PsykoOps]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 03:32 AM
the first photo was a bit misleading as it was a photo of the polecat and i don't think that photo was taken over afghanistan. so... they say this pic on gizmodo was taken in afghanistan huh. you want me to believe them? it isn't even flying, it looks to me like its just a mockup or something. BTW, there's already a thread on this. did you have to create a duplicate one?

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 04:00 AM
Maybe consider joining the current thread about this UAV?


posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:21 AM
It is the P175 Polecat. I found this image after a quick search etc. So the pic looks like it was from air show footage?.

Link to the site that has the info and some pics and the exact same pic that was submitted.

[edit on 2-12-2009 by warkreator]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by warkreator
It`s not the Polecat. The Polecat crashed during a test flight. The exhaust is the same as the `Cat, but there are noticeable differences. If you read my thread about the mystery UCAV over Afghanistan, the people that know the US UAV`s don`t know for sure WHAT this one is.

As for the pics they aren`t even remotely close to the same. The pic of the `Cat is the only pic released, and is fairly far away in flight from behind. The pic of the mystery bird is from the side on the ground and fairly close.

[edit on 12/2/2009 by Zaphod58]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 10:48 AM
Please add to existing thread




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