Predator-series UAVs surpass one million flight hours

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI)Predator-series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has surpassed onemillion flight hours, the company announced on 6 April.
The milestone encompasses just under 80,000 missions, over 85 per cent of which have been flown in combat.
According to GA-ASI, the identity of the specific aircraft andoperator that achieved the milestone will not be known until mid-Maydue to delayed flight hours reporting from the field.
Predator-series UAVs are in constant daily operations supporting theUS Air Force (USAF), US Army, US Navy (USN), US Department of HomelandSecurity, NASA, the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana –AMI), the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and other customers.
Over 400 aircraft have been produced since the first Predator tookflight in 1994, including RQ/MQ-1 Predator A, I-GNAT ER/Sky WarriorAlpha, MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B), MQ-1C Sky Warrior and Predator CAvenger aircraft, among others.

Predator-series flight hours have increased in recent years from80,000 hours in 2006 to 130,000 hours in 2007, 235,000 hours in 2008and 295,000 hours in 2009. The one million flight hours milestone comesless than a month after the USAF announced that it had surpassed700,000 flight hours for the MQ-1B Predator.
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