Warplanes: June 11, 2002


The existing U.S. Army Hunter drone was designed as an artillery spotter, but the Army now wants to give it a Javelin anti-tank missile, or the larger Hellfire, or even 70mm rockets. One armed Hunter is to be ready for demonstrations this summer. In future, Hunter might be armed with Lahat laser-guided anti-tank rounds that it could drop on a target. The Army is buying Predator-Bs and plans to use them as test beds for the new drone (to be selected in 2005) to replace Hunter. This new aircraft must be able to interface with existing ground stations; the Army doesn't plan to pay for an entirely new "system". --Stephen V Cole


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