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Drones

-+*Six decades after it unveiled the U-2 Dragon Lady, Lockheed Martin Corp. is pitching a replacement spy plane called the UQ-2 or RQ-X. The world’s largest defense contractor recently discussed the idea with reporters at its Skunk Works advanced projects facility in Palmdale, California, which birthed not only the U-2, but also the SR-71 Blackbird […]

-+*The U.S. Air Force acknowledged it’s expanding the number of drone surveillance missions flown by contractors in response to a chronic pilot shortage in the service. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh discussed the issue Monday during a “State of the Air Force” briefing with reporters at the Pentagon.

-+*NORAD and federal authorities ran a training exercise over the nation’s capital Sunday to test abilities to detect drones and gyrocopters in restricted air spaces following several troubling incidents. The exercise was intended to gauge the effectiveness of air defense systems to “identify and track low altitude, slow speed aerial vehicles operating in and around […]

-+*Chalk up another high-value militant killed by a U.S. drone strike. Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, the second-highest ranking member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, was killed Aug. 18 while traveling in a vehicle near Mosul in Iraq by a munition fired from an unmanned aircraft, according to a statement from the […]

-+*The MQ-9 Reaper drone made by General Atomics has flown the first-ever domestic search-and-rescue mission in California, officials said. At the request of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Air National Guard on Wednesday launched the unmanned aerial vehicle to help search for a missing motorcyclist, according […]