US drones help Brits fight Taliban in Afghanistan

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Unmanned American drones are helping British soldiers deployed in Afghanistan to step up their fight against the Taliban. 

Indeed, the UK Ministry of Defense has just placed a $5.1 million order with Lockheed Martin for additional Desert Hawk III Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

"The battle-proven Desert Hawk III can operate in high winds, extended altitude and extreme temperatures, making it very effective in areas such as Afghanistan," explained LM VP Mark Swymeler.

"And, unlike some other UAVs, it is extremely quiet and virtually undetectable beyond 150 meters."

According to Swymeler, Desert Hawk III's improved payloads maximize target detection by providing 360-degree daytime and nighttime coverage in a common turret package.

In addition, the 8-pound Desert Hawk III features an open architecture environment and consists of a light weight, hand-launched, ruggedized air vehicle with snap-on Plug and Playloads, a portable ground station and a remote video terminal. 



"The snap-on payload capability allows a single operator to swap sensors on the air vehicle in less than one minute to meet immediate and rapidly changing mission requirements," added Swymeler.

The aircraft also boasts an LM-developed navigation system for optimized targeting and superior image stability, along with enhanced 360-degree infrared and 360-degree, 10-times zoom electro optics.