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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:16 AM
 
United States Army opens new Unmanned Aerial System facility at Vilseck Army Airfield in Germany.
The new Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) facility of U.S. Army was officially opened at Vilseck Army Airfield on Monday, October 7, 2013, by 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC). A letter of agreement between US and German authorities allows them the use of two ‘air bridges’ in the east of the country to train operators, it will be the first time a US unmanned aerial vehicle will fly beyond the limits of military training areas.
     
The new Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) facility of U.S. Army was officially opened at Vilseck Army Airfield on Monday, October 7, 2013, by 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC). A letter of agreement between US and German authorities allows them the use of two ‘air bridges’ in the east of the country to train operators, it will be the first time a US unmanned aerial vehicle will fly beyond the limits of military training areas.
The MQ-5B Hunter is a multimission unmanned aircraft system (UAS) optimized to provide reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition capability.
     

As two new US ‘Hunter’ drones are set to start traversing German airspace next Monday, the army remains firm that they will be used solely for training drone operators rather than spying purposes, and will not be carrying weapons.

Hunter MQ-5B systems will span the distance between Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr, in the south east of the country, about 100km east from Nuremberg. Hohenfels is approximately 100km further south from Grafenwoehr.

Hunter MQ-5B are currently the largest and most advanced of their type, and will not be armed, and will be controlled from the ground. The distance apparently reflects that which soldiers would have to navigate in Afghanistan, operators said. The vehicle will travel between approximately 11,000 and 14,000 feet in the sky.

On Tuesday, an open house was hosted that was aimed at alleviating any worries the German population may have over the presence of US drones. On Wednesday, local media were invited to explore the new facility.

During the event, two other types of UAS were displayed alongside the Hunter: the Raven and the Shadow. The vehicles were accompanied by their respective operators, maintenance crews and translators for each one. So attendees would be informed about what the training would entail, maps of the air corridors were on display alongside the vehicles that would navigate the routes.

 
 
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