Found this in Aerospace Daily. Is this the first time in history
a machine has been armed? spike
PREDATOR FIRES HELLFIRE MISSILE IN FIRST TEST
OF WEAPONIZED UAV: The weaponization of Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles may officially be underway with a Predator
launching a live Hellfire missile in a test on Wednesday at Nellis
Air Force Base Range, NV. The test was conducted jointly by
the Air Force's Air Combat Command (ACC) and Aeronautical
Systems Center. In the live-fire test, Predator was commanded
via a Ku-band satellite link, out of the line of sight of ground
controllers. During this test - a fairly accurate representation of
how the UAV is controlled during real operations - Predator
used the "Kosovo ball," an infrared sensor with a laser designator
attached to the aircraft so named because of its use in Kosovo.
The RQ-1A Predator flew to 2000 feet, lased its own target,
fired its live Hellfire missile and completely immobilized its target,
blowing the track off a tank. While the missile hit "a few inches"
below an inert previous shot that morning, the Air Force still
deemed the mission a terrific success, as it marked the first time
ever a UAV had fired a live weapon, the ACC spokesman said.
A weaponized Predator, the brainchild of Gen. John P. Jumper,
ACC's top commander, is being tested to examine the feasibility
of using a UAV to fire missiles.
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