Pilotless Strikes on Iraq by RAF

(Sunday Times-UK) Stephen Grey - Royal Air Force officers have joined a team of American pilots based in the desert near Las Vegas that is flying and firing missiles from unmanned Predator spy planes more than 7,000 miles away in Iraq. The British airmen are part of a 24-hour operation that controls the Predators remotely by satellite, secretly filming militants attacking American and British troops, and using Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to destroy enemy positions. In the Predator control room, the plane's two operators - the pilot and the sensor operator - sit side by side with two screens above them, operating the craft with a keyboard and two joysticks. The 27-foot craft, which can stay aloft for 18 hours, is virtually impossible to see or hear from the ground.

2004-10-04 00:00:00

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