UAVs and Their Funding Initiatives in Action
The MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) received its certification of Initial Operating Capability on March 1. The declaration indicates the Predator has completed its testing and achieved predetermined capability and supportability thresholds, and represents a step between Advanced Technology Demonstrator status and Full Operational Capability certification. Meanwhile, Predator drones continue to be part of the surveillance mix currently flying over Iran, along with the Global Hawk, I-Gnat, and other UAVs that have been rushed into service. Aviation Week & Space Technology has an excellent article that discusses UAV operations in the Middle East, and lists many of the procurement and funding initiatives involved (note: this article is now pay-view only: DefenseTech.org has a couple of operational excerpts, but not the budget-related materials).