MQ-1L Predator attack drone with AGM 114 K2 Hellfire Missiles
Close look at General Atomic MQ-1L Predator UAV & AGM 114 K2 Hellfire Missiles
Abraham Karem was the former chief designer for the Israeli Air Force — who built his first drone after 1973’s Yom Kippur War — and has been described by The Economist as the man who “created the robotic plane that transformed the way modern warfare is waged — and continues to pioneer other airborne innovations”. In 1980 he emigrated from Israel to Los Angeles and started to build aircraft in his garage. A year later he wheeled out a bizarre, cigar-looking aircraft called the ‘Albatross’ that would change the face of warfare forever.
At Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, Karem demonstrated that his Albatross could stay in the air for 56 hours straight. This was somewhat of a revelation.
Under his previous company, Leading Systems Inc. (LSI), Karem led teams that developed the Amber and GNAT 750 (predecessors of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, as well as the A160 Hummingbird Optimum-Speed Rotor UAV, now a Boeing product. Leading Systems has since gone bankrupt and was bought up by United States defense contractor General Atomics. The CIA secretly bought five drones (now called the “GNAT”) from them. Karem agreed to produce a quiet engine, which until then sounded like “a lawnmower in the sky”. The new development was renamed the “Predator”.
General Atomics MQ-1 Predator
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CIMG8029 Close look at Predetor UAV & AGM 114 K2 Hellfire Missiles