Pentagon: No Plans to Shift Air Force Predator Drones to Army

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Defense Department and service officials this week quashed speculation that the Pentagon is poised to task the Air Force’s Predator unmanned drones exclusively to the Army and let the air service outfit its entire unmanned aerial fleet with next-generation Reapers, sources tell Inside the Pentagon.

“There is currently no plan in DOD to allocate the MQ-1[Predator] solely to the Army and the MQ-9 [Raptor] solely to the Air Force,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Butterbaugh said. “This is merely one of many potential options that could be considered in a future [Quadrennial Defense Review] and does not reflect current thinking or intent.” . . .

Kevin Meiners, assistant deputy under secretary of defense in the Pentagon’s intelligence shop, stoked speculation on the subject last week when he said he would not be surprised if Predator operations were handed to the Army and Reaper operations were given to the Air Force in the upcoming QDR.

Read more at Inside Defense (subscription required)

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