Warplanes: October 27, 2001

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The first lesson of the Afghan War is that the US has not purchased enough Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for recon work. The current inventory includes only 13 Predators (two have been lost in Iraq recently) and four Global Hawks. (The Global Hawks are Block 5 "development" aircraft one step above prototypes.) The Army bought seven Hunter drones six years ago and has four of them left. The CIA operates I-Gnat drones but lost one in Afghanistan. Current plans call for buying 50 Block-10 Global Hawks, but only three Predators are on order for this year.--Stephen V Cole

 


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