US Special Forces in Afghanistan are now operating their own armed drones Defence News has recently reported. Four Grey Eagle UAV’s armed with Hellfire missiles are now with special units in Afghanistan. We reported on the drone, previously known as Sky Warrior, in early August (US Army Special Forces Unit Gets New Drone ) but it has since had its name changed from Sky Warrior to Grey Eagle to avoid confusion and to give it a “cool name”. The drone is from the same family as the Predator and Reaper drone and unarmed versions have been operating for some time in Iraq.
Meanwhile the drone industry continues to develop. A new production facility for the Orion drone, which is designed to remain in flight for five days at 20,000 feet and is capable of carrying a payload of 1,000 pounds, has been opened in Mississippi and military labs continue to churn out new surveillance devices as the drone electronics industry revenue is expected to double to $6 billion in the next eight years.