United States forces are getting ready to deploy an unmanned aerial vehicle near South Korea due to North Korea’s continued nuclear tests.The drone, Gray Eagle, will be deployed near the Korean border and controlled remotely either from the United States or via satellite. If the UAV is somehow detected on North Korean radar, it can disappear by simply flying below a specific altitude.
The Gray Eagle has a fifty-six foot wingspan and a maximum speed of 170 miles per hour. It can reach an elevation of 25,000 feet, and fly continuously for thirty hours. It can be fitted with Hellfire anti-tank missile, as well as small precision-guided bombs known as the “Viper Strike”. These weapons can be used to strike targets during flight. The US has used drones similar to this one in the past. For example, the Predator was used to take out al-Qaida targets in Pakistan.
Gray Eagle will be deployed in the 2nd Infantry Division in the province of North Gyeonggi as part of the US-South Korea combined Division. Other aircraft that are operating in this division at the brigade level include the Raven RQ-11B and the Shadow RQ-7B. Within the next two years, South Korea plans to launch a drone of their own – the Global Hawk.
Defenses need to be ramped up at this time. North Korea’s fleet of drones currently stands at 300. At any moment, North Korea may unleash this army of unmanned drones like hundreds of angry hornets. However, detractors have likened their drones to a "Tin Can Air Force" due to their weaknesses elsewhere.The drone underwent test six months ago at Kunsan US Air Force base in South Korea, where it transmitted visual information to Apache Helicopters. The drone itself will also be manufactured in South Korea.
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