October 13, 2005:
SOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) is installing the same hi-tech sensor package on its MH-60 helicopters and its RQ-1 Predator UAVs. The AN/AAS-52 imaging system is a combination color video camera and night vision (infrared and laser) camera. The system stores its images digitally, and allows for seven different fields of view, electronic zoom, automated video tracking (click on an item on the screen and the camera will follow it), laser range finding and laser designation for laser guided weapons. When used on the Predator, the AN/AAS-52 system is well equipped to carefully study something on the ground, and then put a missile or smart bomb on it. The new Predator B can carry 250 or 500 pound smart bombs, as well as Hellfire missiles.