Friday, April 16, 2010

Humming Bird UAV Going To Afghanistan.

FORT WORTH, Texas - The U.S. Army will soon sign an agreement with U.S. Special Operations Command to borrow one of its A160 Hummingbird UAVs for deployment to Afghanistan, according to Army officials.

The Army has no formal requirement for a vertical-takeoff-and-landing UAV, but the service's deputy chief of staff for intelligence (G-2) is interested in developing a quick reaction capability, said Col. Gregory Gonzalez, the Army's project manager for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

On April 16, Gonzalez said, he will sign a memorandum of understanding with Special Operations Command for the A160. The Army plans to install the Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (VADER) aboard the 2,500-pound UAV and send it to Afghanistan. VADER is designed to track moving vehicles and people on the ground.

Army staff members are considering buying some A160s, said Tim Owings, deputy project manager for Army UAS.

Boeing builds the A160; Northrop Grumman developed the VADER.

The Army program office also announced that on April 14 the service's UAVs exceeded one million flight hours. It plans to celebrate the milestone in May with events at the Pentagon and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

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