Italy Celebrates 10 Years of Predator Operations

ItalianMQ9_081012 (1)The Italian Air Force recently celebrated the first ten years of operating the Predator series of RPAS, with the first operational flight being on  January 25, 2005 as part of  Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With the task of contributing to the security of the country and the personnel on the ground, in search and rescue of missing, to the supervision of large events, surveillance, reconnaissance and patrol the territory and national waters, Predator systems have provided important contributions in certain circumstances and in multiple, sensitive theaters of operation in which they operated at a fast pace, with different modes of action and time spent abroad in the first ten years of operation.

“Ten years it is not a particularly significant aeronautical considered that technological development has an average time of evolution much more extensive. But the results are certainly extraordinary sighted in the use of aircraft to Steering Remote (APR) that the Air Force: used first among the European countries, directly in delicate contexts operating since 2005 … 

Predators Italy

“GA-ASI is proud of our support of AMI over the last decade” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “The varied missions flown by AMI’s Predator–series Remotely Piloted Aircraft highlight its versatility in delivering valued surveillance information. Notably, its contributions to AMI’s Operation Mare Nostrum and continuing Mediterranean search and rescue efforts are helping save lives at sea.”

Specifically, AMI Predator A and Predator B/MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operated by 28 Squadron, 32 Wing Amendola, played integral roles in the nearly year-long Operation Mare Nostrum which involved operation to locate and coordinate aid in rescuing migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in makeshift boats from Northern Africa to Italy. MQ-9 provided real-time imagery of boats adrift loaded with migrants to the Air Operation Centre and was shared with the Navy Operational Command that then deployed the appropriate rescue assets. Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR), video, and maritime surface-search radar sensors are very effective in long-range detection and identification of migrant vessels. Operators identified the MQ-9 as a significant enhancement to supporting past and continuing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, along with search and rescue missions over both land and sea.

“MQ-9 proved instrumental in our efforts to coordinate resources and rescue migrants whose boats were incapacitated and were dangerously floating adrift,” said an official from the Italian Air Force. “The aircraft’s surface-search radar detections resulted in EO/IR imagery of the migrant vessels which was disseminated in real-time to our AMI, Coast Guard, and Navy commanders, allowing them to understand how many victims were aboard the boats and the extent to which the boats were damaged, and enabling us to vector in the appropriate Navy vessel to perform the rescue. This capability has significantly enhanced our ability to save lives and provide coastal surveillance which continues today.”

Source: Press Releases

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