US targets Somalia and Yemen with new drone bases:
The US is setting up a ring of bases for armed drones around the Indian ocean, east Africa and the Arabian peninsular to hunt al Qaeda and spy on pirates. Bases are planned for Ethiopia and will be expanded in the Seychelles and Djibouti, a tiny country on the Red Sea.
As you can see from the picture the MQ-9 reaper is a big machine and just as manned aircraft it takes a runway and local ground and support crew to handle launching the flights even through the planes are flown and directed from the US. Even through they have been very effective they are costly to operate and maintain and this is one of the reasons the US started work on the Helicopter UAV several years ago and the Hummingbird by Boeing is nearing release. It doesn’t need a runway or the large ground crew and pilots locally to take off and land it also can carry a larger payload of weapons.
Our work on developing our UAV Helicopter came from client request for the same reasons as they wanted to find ways to get into difficult terrains and adverse weather conditions. The helicopter is more versatile and can stay over target for extended periods of time as well as get down into canyons and lower altitudes. It is a very timely and expensive development process but in the end result it will benefit our fight against terrorism.
Until next time, Be Safe. Phil