The drone was launched by an air crew from a base in the Middle East but controlled by a British crew thousands of miles away, from RAF 39 Squadron either at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire or operating from the US air base at Creech, in Nevada. The Ministry of Defence never confirms which of the two bases is involved in attacks.
[earlier]It has been confirmed that, for the first time, a unmanned drone launched from the UK was used to assassinate two British extremists in Syria – and it was piloted from RAF Waddington near Lincoln. The launch was 3,000 miles away from where a missile from a remotely-piloted aircraft killed two British Isis members outside Raqqa on August 21. Cardiff-born Reyaad Khan, 21, was killed in the strike. It was later confirmed Rahul Amin, 26, from Aberdeen was also killed.
UK Reaper drones were at first all flown from Creech US Air Force base in Nevada, but since April 2013 missions have also been controlled by pilots stationed at RAF Waddington. Once airborne the mission is flown by the crews of 39 Squadron from Creech Air Force Base in the USA, before control is handed back to the crew in theatre for landing. The pilots of UK Reaper have all been previously qualified as pilots on other military aircraft. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) between the UK and US Governments, obtained under Freedom of Information by legal charity Reprieve, shows how British pilots have been assigned to the command of American drone squadrons operating out of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) are growing in importance and the RAF formed 39 Sqn at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada two years ago to operate RAF Reaper aircraft alongside USAF squadrons. Reaper provides real-time video imagery to ground commanders, and has the capability to engage ground targets if required. 39 Squadron trains and operates alongside USAF counterparts as part of the Combined Joint Predator Task Force. Although 39 Squadron is an RAF squadron, the unit includes personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the British Army.
drone out of control
[June 8 Ramadi: Iraqi gunships carried out a number of strikes
On the eastern outskirts of Ramadi; Iraqi gunships carried out a number of strikes on ISIL positions within the city, killing at least 7 gunmen gathered around an ISIL observation post facing the front lines in Ramadi. The Bu-Farraj and Bu-Ghanim areas were also struck.
11:00 / 08.11.2013 Iraq accepted the first of four Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter gunships sold to the Middle Eastern nation as part of a multibillion dollar weapons deal.
In October 2012, Iraq signed a deal with Russia for the purchase of 30 helicopters Mi-28NE. And on 11 July 2014 Moscow akghirnya sends one of the first order who transported by Antonov An-124 Condor.
According to media the Government of Russia, Iraq have accepted delivery of the first batch of the ‘ Havoc ‘ Mil Mi-28NE (Night Hunter) attack helicopter, as well as additional Mil Mi-35 m ‘ Hind ‘. The helicopter has a very effective attack capability that will provide the ability for the army to fight ISIS.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. bought Russian helos because they were durable and, easy-to-operate .
[March 20 Russians can make a ‘drone no-fly zone’]
In Eastern Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe., said, Russian-backed forces are employing jammers to interfere with drones that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe intended to monitor in compliance with the Minsk cease-fire agreement. Ukraine’s ground defense systems are being jammed, creating what is essentially a “no-fly zone,”
“The quality and sophistication of their electronic warfare is eye watering,” Hodges said of the Russian military.
July 2 2004 Shadow U.S. drones now being used in Iraq by U.S. force]
The drones were not Reapers or Predators but smaller Shadow robotic aircraft that are launched from a catapult, a senior defense official.
The Shadow aircraft, which have been heavily used by US forces previously in Iraq and in Afghanistan, are about 14 feet (4 meters) long and can fly at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).
[December 26 2013]
For about eight weeks, unarmed U.S. drones sporadically flew over Anbar to gather intelligence to target militants, but they “have been temporarily halted at the request of the Iraqi government,” a senior U.S. official said.
U.S. drones, probably taking off from a base in Jordan , flew over the Iraqi governorate of Anbar, a few days before the outbreak of the Sunni insurgency against the government of Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The drones gathered intelligence to hunt down the men of the Islamic state, the military group that has inherited the legacy of al Qaeda in the region. The missions began soon after Maliki’s visit to Washington November 1, but were stopped last week at the request of Baghdad, fearing that the cooperation will become even more awkward and turn the revolt. But not before you have used that information to mount a ground offensive against camps of the Islamic State, then ended in disaster.
But the Iraqis are less willing to accept that, because they’re worried it’s going to allow the U.S. to look under the hood and see what they’re doing. Instead, the Iraqis have emphasized big-ticket military hardware that they could operate themselves, including F-16 fighters and Apache helicopters.
The Shiite-led government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will receive 75 AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and 10 ScanEagle reconnaissance drones made by Boeing Co.‘s Insitu unit.
The missiles, which cost about $70,000 apiece, will be outfitted onto small Cessna 208 Combat Caravan turboprop planes and fired at militants using targeting information supplied by the C.I.A., according to the report. The drones, which cost about $100,000 apiece, are small, low-altitude craft that can be launched from a catapult.
A new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The RQ-180 is likely flying from the secret Air Force test facility at Groom Lake, Nevada, widely known as Area 51.
The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998.
This aircraft’s design is key for the shift of Air Force ISR assets away from “permissive” environments—such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where Northrop Grumman’s non-stealthy Global Hawk and General Atomics’ Reaper operate—and toward operations in “contested” or “denied” airspace.
out of control.
[December 8 2011]
U.S. officials said that CIA operators were flying the unmanned drone when it veered out of control and headed deep into Iran. The drone eventually ran out of fuel and crashed in Iran’s remote mountains.
A former senior Defense Department official said the stealth drone flights had been underway for “at least four years,” The aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin, is best known for its role in surveilling the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed. “But it wasn’t only being flown in Pakistan,” the former official said.
The CIA is thought to have a dozen or so of the batwing-shaped, radar-evading aircraft, which are capable of being fitted with different “sensor payloads,” meaning they can be equipped to capture a range of intelligence material, including high-resolution images, radiation measurements and air samples.
U.S. officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback but not a fatal blow to the stealth drone program. “It was never a matter of whether we were going to lose one but when,” the former official said, indicating that the CIA had used technologies that it could afford to have exposed.
[December 6]Officials here confirm that the vehicle was a highly secret stealth drone called an RQ-170. A statement issued by the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan on December 4 said that the downed drone “may be a U.S. unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week. The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status.” U.S. officials insisted December 5 that the statement was technically accurate, noting that it did not explicitly assert that the aircraft was being operated by ISAF or the U.S. military. FMV sensor system, the single-channel, full-motion video capability , that made the stealthy flying wing so invaluable when it debuted in Afghanistan about two years ago is considered outdated, potentially limiting the intelligence fallout..
the single-sensor capability is being multiplied by 65 times, resulting in an exponential increase in data, packaged for carriage by UAS and automated so it can be monitored by significantly fewer intelligence analysts than the current model of FMV exploitation. The BAE Systems-developed, wide-area, persistent surveillance sensor called the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (Argus-IS) will provide that level of functionality in a single sensor operating on a single platform.
Argus-IS is considered part of a whole new class of sensor. In this package it combines wide-area coverage (40 sq. km) with impressive detail (15-cm-resolution ground sample distance per pixel). Moreover, the imagery resolution allows tracking of moving vehicles and dismounted individuals.
“The way the sensor actually operates is to continuously image an area on the ground about the size of a small city, and it stores the data onboard for the entire mission,” says Jeremy Tondreault, program director of BAE’s electronic systems business. “Each of the  video windows is analogous to what [we get] today with narrow-band FMV.”
The U.K. Royal Air Force in Afghanistan is using the Goodrich Raptor reconnaissance pod, which houses the DB-110 dual-band (infrared and visual), long-range oblique photography (Lorop) camera. In addition, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is advocating to provide more money for a new DB-110 demonstration on the MQ-9A Reaper UAS, while an earlier demonstration on a pre-production Predator B supported Britain’s interests.
The Lorop camera system was developed by what was then Litton’s Itek division, which has been associated with CIA reconnaissance programs. For nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Lorop has the advantage of being able to image a large area—such as a road, its surroundings, a valley—quickly and in detail from standoff range.
Israel-based Rafael’s Recce-Lite uses the Litening pod shape and other components, eliminating the laser in favor of bigger optics. The U.S. Air Force has tested a Goodrich MS-177 camera with a multi-spectral, 177-in. focal length on an E-8C Joint Stars as a means of identifying targets detected by radar.
[Dec.5] It is a 95 percent chance that it just malfunctioned. There are a lot of things that can fail. the latest generations of aircraft, use encrypted satellite technology that is very hard for ground systems to intercept and modify, and even if an enemy could somehow breach the satellite communications, only the most sophisticated adversary could crack the encryption protecting control codes,
In the past, pilots have lost satellite connections to drones, causing them to veer off course, run out of fuel and crash.
Northrop Grumman’s unmanned aerial vehicles business is booming, and the company plans to add 150 new jobs — mostly for engineers — at its San Diego area plants where the company manufactures the Global Hawk, Fire Scout and X-47B.
In the tight budget environment, the Defense Department is heavily investing in UAVs, which are comparatively inexpensive to operate and play a key role in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Afghanistan and global hot spots.