The MQ-1 Predator is a medium-altitude; long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and entered service with United States Air Force in 1995. The MQ-1’s primary mission is conducting armed reconnaissance against targets and interdiction.
The MQ-1 Predator is a fully operational system that consists of four aircraft with censors, a ground control station, and a Predator Primary Satellite Link (PPSL). This UAV can carry two AGM-114 Hellfire missile targeting capability and integrates electro-optical, infrared, laser designator and laser illuminator into a single sensor package. The aircraft can employ two laser-guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles with the MTS ball. Powered by a 115-horsepower Rotax 914F piston engine, the Predator can operate from 5,000-by-75-foot hard-surface runways. It needs line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing, though the PPSL provides over-the-horizon control and communications.
The MQ-1 Predator had been in successful combat since 1995 over Afghanistan, Serbia, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq and is known as the Top 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for its advance technology performance and advantageous operations.