Belgium sent several of its Hunter B UAVs to Congo, to support UN
peacekeeping operations there. However, one of the UAVs was soon lost (at the
end of July), when a single shot from an AK-47 brought it down. Examination of
the wreckage showed that it was a lucky shot, which hit a key spar, that caused
a wing to fold. The guy firing the shot was just popping off, for no particular
reason. He was a local thug, not a member of any of the militias the
peacekeepers were there to deal with.
Israeli built Hunter UAV lost out to the Predator in the 1990s competition for
an American battlefield UAV. But the U.S. Army kept in storage the ones
it had, and put them back in action in time for the 1999 Kosovo operation. The
1600 pound Hunter can carry 200 pounds of sensors and weapons, and has an
endurance of ten hours. It is used by Israeli armed forces, and those of
several other nations as well.
are very popular with peacekeepers because a large part of the job is keeping
track of lots of people. This has to be done with innocent civilians, and armed
groups of bad guys. The civilians and hostiles often have no way to communicate
over long distances, so the UAV is a lot more efficient than manned aircraft to
track everyone down.