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Predator reaches initial operating capacity

3/1/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)  -- One of the most heavily used and valued weapons systems of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom has reached initial operating capability, Air Combat Command officials here announced March 1.

The MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle was officially declared IOC March 1 by Lt. Gen. William Fraser III, ACC's vice commander. The milestone was reached after the MQ-1 completed eleven requirements including supportability, maintainability and aircraft and parts availability.

Initially fielded as the RQ-1, an advanced concept technology demonstrator, the Predator was first used in the Balkan theater in the mid-1990s. Over time, the aircraft has undergone various upgrades to improve its combat effectiveness. The MQ-1 version is equipped with advanced sensors and armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

The IOC declaration indicates the MQ-1 has completed its testing and achieved predetermined capability and supportability thresholds, and continues on its path to achieving full operational capability, officials said. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)

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