Happened to notice this in the US Air Force AIMPoints newsletter from Thursday:
A USAF Predator performed a strike in the vicinity of Rawah expending a Hellfire missile with successful effects against an enemy improvised explosive device location.
A quick Google turned up this on DefenseLINK News:
Air Force officials reported today that coalition aircraft flew 62 close-air-support missions Dec. 7 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also, Air Force Predator — an advanced concept technology demonstration aircraft — fired a Hellfire missile, destroying an enemy improvised explosive device location near Rawah, officials said.
I think it’s safe to say that the Predator has demonstrated it’s advanced concepts and technology very well so far.
More below the fold
I also turned up this from a DefenseLINK story on Nov. 13:
A U.S. Air Force Predator performed an air strike against an improvised explosive device location in the vicinity of Karabilah, expending a Hellfire missile with successful effects.
I’m all for “successful effects” and all, but doesn’t trading a Hellfire for an IED on a regular basis seem unbalanced? To save lives, of course it’s the right thing to do. But isn’t there a better way to take them out once the Predator finds them? Unless they’re remote. (The IED’s, guys. I know that the Predator is ‘remote’-controlled.)
If the Predator gets the IED planters in the act, taking them out with a Hellfire is certainly worth it.
If this is going to become a habit, I’m buying stock in Boeing and Lockheed, the parents of Hellfire Systems LLC. There isn’t a shortage of IEDs. And there isn’t one forecast.