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Asia - Central | Contracts - Intent | Industry & Trends | Middle East - Other | Specialty Aircraft | Transport & Utility | UAVs | USA

CENTCOM Looks to Boost ISR Capabilities in 2008-2009

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RU-38 Twin Condor(click to view full) The nature of the current war puts a high premium “persistent, pervasive stare” capability, also known as technical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). America has been reminded (yet again) that these tools cannot replace human intelligence and social networks, but when used properly they create significant advantages for a counter-insurgency force. Right now, about 80% of the U.S. military’s aerial ISR assets – from UAVs to planes like the U-2 – are busy in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations. Most of those are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been pushing the ISR idea. He’s pressing the US military to speed up procurement, and deploy more ISR platforms in theater. He’s also putting his money where his mouth is. A task force was set up, and approval was given to “reprogram” funds from other areas, in order to fund these additional ISR projects. Congressional defense committees have now approved a FY 2008 request to reprogram $1.2 billion. According to Pentagon sources, these monies will buy 21 manned ISR aircraft, add to the RQ-11 Raven, RQ-7 Shadow, MQ-5 Hunter, MQ-1 Predator, and MQ-9 Reaper UAV systems in theater, and […]

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