Talk:General Atomics MQ-1 Predator

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Any more info on the engine?[edit]

It would be nice to get some more info on the engine. Interesting that it uses a Rotax engine, Rotax is a Austrian company now owned by a Canadian corporation. Rotax is best known for making motorcycle engines, small and lightweight vs. their power output. They have been used by a large number of motorcycle manufacturers over the years including Aprillia, BMW, KTM, Penton, ATK and Can-AM. Also some snow-mobiles use them. They build both 2 and 4 strokes, mostly singles and twins of up to 1000cc capacity.

ZeroXero (talk) 22:57, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Looking for downing info[edit]

The Museum of Yugoslav Aviation has a Predator hanging on display, and I assume this was downed during the 90s conflict. It'd be nice to have some info on the aprox date, location and circumstances of the downing in the article, but I can't find anything. Anyone? Akradecki 15:58, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Looks like we lost a bunch of drones in the balkans[1] --MarsRover 06:12, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that link...I've incorporated that information Akradecki 18:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I remember hearing a news story on the radio, during the Kosovo conflict, about an aircraft being shot down, the news report finished off with "there were no crew on board" I will try to find this story and post it, but if anyone has any info it should be added to "operational history" as well. It may well be the same incident refered to above. Thatmarkguy (talk) 18:39, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's one mention of downed UAVs in the Kosovo War article.Thatmarkguy (talk) 18:54, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

I was flying the Predator that now hangs in the Serb air museum when it went down. Most of the info published on this subject is incorrect. The Wiki section on Predator losses in the Balkans is pretty much totally garbled. This is surprising, because the accurate story isn't that hard to come by. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cw5301 (talkcontribs) 03:36, 23 August 2009 (UTC)


In the Specifications section it shows crew as 0 (zero). While it is obvious that aircraft of this type have no on-board crew, however there has to be someone piloting and operating its systems from a ground base as it is a "remotely piloted vehicle" (RPV) and not an "autonomous aerial vehicle". How many people would normally be operating one of these aircraft during flight? Roger 12:03, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The Specs list on-board crew only. And actually, it is "autonomus", meaning that no one has to actually be flying it every second. Ground operators should be mentioned in the main text. - BilCat (talk) 23:59, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Autonomous means the AV is capable of flying a mission plan with little or even no human interaction - at least after takeoff occurs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the predator is not capable of this. Whatsamatteru (talk) 15:00, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Whether you're right or not, the on-board crew is still zero, which is what the specs list. - BilCat (talk) 18:01, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Predator passes 600,000 flight hours[edit]

This site: [Soldier of Fortune] talks about the success of this drone.Agre22 (talk) 14:28, 7 October 2009 (UTC)agre22

Another photo[edit]

Could we get another photo of this thing? It is really hard to judge the size of it in all of the photos currently on the article. I'm thinking something like this Does anyone have one we can use? Peter Napkin Dance Party (talk) 05:10, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

I actually found a better one,a nd it was already on Commons. Remember to check there first, as sometimes - but not always - they'll have an appropriate pic. - BilCat (talk) 05:41, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Awesome Bilcat! How does one go about finding the Commons?Peter Napkin Dance Party (talk) 13:52, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
On the article page under "External links", there is a link box at the right that will take you to the Predator page on Commons. - BilCat (talk) 17:27, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Iraqi Mig-25 / MQ-1 Predator dogfight[edit]

I don't know if the person who wrote this section watched the video that was cited. This section is unclear on who antagonized who and who fired first. The video, obtained by CBS News, from the camera in the Predator shows that the Predator flew toward the Mig. The Predator was fired upon and fired back in response. The text on this page is sort of garbled about what happened. I just want to make sure that if the story is going to be told, it is told correctly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrpittb87 (talkcontribs) 21:16, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Question of legality[edit]

There should be a discussion on this page whether the use of this weapon contravenes international law. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mkooiman (talkcontribs) 13:01, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

No. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. ONLY verified fact may be included in articles. Roger (talk) 16:53, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I must agree , this is not a discussion for that, this is about information pertaining to the Drone and technology and therefore must be neutral. Leave that discussion for another page.Tra3535 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


Just reverted (again) the addition of a controversy section about a report from Philip Aston. The referenced report does not mention the Predator. If it is notable it is better in a more general subject article not a specific unmentioned weapon platform. Although the reference provides no evidence that the statement in controvertial just a point of observation. MilborneOne (talk) 21:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

At a first glance at the article I think it would benefit from the addition of a controversy section; the predator drone itself is most known across the world as the aircraft used to carry out drone strikes which themselves have attracted considerable opposition. The Amnesty International report on drone strikes in Pakistan is a potential starting point.
note: I see your original post was made in 2009, facts have certainly changed since then. KingHiggins (talk) 14:45, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Iranian-Backed Hack U.S. Drones[edit]

This American site: [Fox] tells that Iran hacks this UAV.Agre22 (talk) 15:30, 17 December 2009 (UTC)agre22

Report is about them viewing downlinked video, not really notable to the MQ-1. MilborneOne (talk) 16:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Why isn't this notable? The UAV was designed without secure communications which seems a major drawback. --MarsRover (talk) 18:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure any report with the words according to a person familiar with reports on the matter. is particularly reliable. If as you say the video feeds have never been secure then they would have no need to hack into them. The lack of notability relates to the importance of the matter to the Predator. It just is not than important to the MQ-1, if they were intercepting signals to the MQ-1 then that would be notable. MilborneOne (talk) 19:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
The newspaper is the Wall Street Journal with quotes from specific Generals admitting the problem. This seems a pretty reliable source. The UAV is essentially a spy plane that doesn't encrypted what it discovers. Here's a quote: "A senior defense official said that James Clapper, the Pentagon's intelligence chief, assessed the Iraq intercepts at the direction of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and concluded they represented a shortcoming to the security of the drone network." So, this is only notable if they insurgents somehow take control of the vehicle? --MarsRover (talk) 20:18, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, still dont think it is notable to the MQ-1. Nothing in the source or article says the video data is not coded in fact it infers it is coded and the insurgents have found a way of reading it. And the article says the video is uplinked to a satellite not downlinked. So a bit of a mismatch in stories. Also note that during the Balkan campaign video from US reconnaissance assets was freely available from civil satellites in Europe if you had the right satellite TV equipment, so nothing new. MilborneOne (talk) 20:37, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Intercept of streamed data compromises both stealth of platform and suggests possible intentions of US forces on any given day. This event is significant, reliably sourced, and should be included. Nightmote (talk) 20:53, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Also - didn't the military brass say that they thought the opposition wasn't savvy enough to intercept that data, and that encryption was therefore unnecessary? Thought I read that. This isn't the end of the world, but the UAV program has been so successful to date that this seems significant. Nightmote (talk) 14:36, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Non-story and largely non-significant. If you look over at the Air Force Times (a Gannet publication, not military-run BTW) it has some details on Predator uplinks and downlinks which consist of three feeds - an encrypted control feed, an encrypted video feed going to commanders and pilots through a sattelite link and an unencrypted video feed going directly to troops on the ground via the ROVER system. The unencrypted feed can be narrowed to a footprint with a 100-meter radius around the receiver on the ground making it effectively impossible to intercept, and newer models of ROVER being fielded now support encryption. ROVER caught some flak over at Wired for operating in the clear, but seeing as how the signal is very drectional you would need to be very close to the receiver to intercept it. Smaller, lighter Army drones are still currently broadcasting video in the clear (that will start changing within weeks) but that's not a very big deal with a tactical drone that you can see and hear buzzing around at low altitude.

These reports of insurgents intercepting drone video feeds deal with a fairly short period in early and mid-2009 before the military moved - very swiftly, as this was a known weakness in the system - to secure the feeds involved. I get the impression this involved adding that directional capability to the ROVER system. It's easy to excorciate the military for leaving video unencrypted, but when you realize that the enemy DID NOT have the technical ability to view the feeds without a lot of help from Iran (and some nontrivial new commercial software development) it's also apparent that the point about local enemies not being sophisticated enough to exploit that security hole DOES IN FACT stand. When you account for the fact that encryption and good streaming video quality to all the people who needed to use it were mutually exclusive until very recently... you begin to see this controversy as a manufactured hatchet job on the military and less of a legitimate story. Peace. (talk) 18:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

"Manufactured hatchet job"? I must differ with you on this. The fact that enemy forces intercepted our live data feeds is a gross failure of our intelligence community, the equipment manufacturer, and maybe the troops themselves. I served with pride in the USMC from 84-88, and strongly support the military in general and the UAV programs in particular, but we mustn't gloss over system weaknesses or military failures. The narrow-beam ground feed isn't mentioned in the article, and even if it was the salient point would still be that the feed from this pivotal reconnaissance and weapons system *was* intercpeted and viewed by enemy forces. Nightmote (talk) 16:36, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually I get the impression running UAVs with unencrypted feeds had more to do with (1) pushing capabilities into the field as quickly as possible a few years back when people were desperate for drones and (2) technical limitations with encrypting and decrypting video and getting a useful product out on the battlefield. The various people with experience on UAV systems, from operators to consumers of the product on the ground, who have weighed in on the subject over the last few days haven't seemed too worried about operational compromise and the overwhelming majority of commentors (including me) are in no position whatsoever to be challenging that. Given that outrage over this news seems to be inversely proportional to proximity to actual UAV usage I don't think excorciating the designers or users is appropriate. That's what I mean by "manufactured hatchet job" - the appropriate journalistic response would be to actually investigate the system and talk to people who use it (which the AFTimes, you know, actually did) instead of blithely insinuating that American drones are at risk of being taken over by the Taliban and used against us (and that the US military is full of idiots).
I'm not even sure if this is particularly notable beyond a burst of press coverage. People "intercepted" a lot of drone feeds by accident on their televisions of all things back in the '90s (I believe we fixed that problem before the present war started up) and that's not mentioned in the article. (talk) 00:37, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the "burst of press coverage" is enough to be notable. The AFTimes article helps the case for this being notable. They obviously wouldn't write about not notable military topics. --MarsRover (talk) 03:19, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to including the video intercepts in the article - perhaps the public-domain details of Predator communications systems that have emerged recently could be better incorporated into the main body of the text rather than the operational usage section. Regardless of whether a specific exploit to view aerial video feeds is notable, the communications setup itself certainly is. (talk) 03:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Acronym confusion[edit]

"The USAF describes the Predator as a 'Tier II' MALE UAS (medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV system)."

Assuming the USAF doesn't consist of Unix geeks, the acronym "UAS" doesn't make sense. Has someone verified that? Does it stand for Unmanned Aerial System? (In which case the phrase "long-endurance UAV system" should be corrected.) I don't want to change anything without verifying first, but something's out of whack. Xebico (talk) 15:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

General Atomics MQ-1 Predator Unit cost[edit]

I hold that the cost of the General Atomics MQ-1 system Predator is 40 million $ for the following reasons:

A) It puts it in link, so much in yours as in mine.

B) In the above mentioned link it does not appear for any divides a reference to a cost for every UAV that integrates the system of 10 million $, whereas in one of my two references if there shows a cost of 4,5 million $, in addition if the General Atomics MQ-1C Herd Eagle costs today 8 millions of $, the UAV of the one that was developed 14 years ago cannot cost 10 million $.

C) The unitary cost says to the system, not to the UAV that it integrates it, nobody buys an alone UAV, or an UAV and a console, the complete system is acquired, as with the systems of anti-aircraft missiles no country buys X batteries, buys the system that includes multiple batteries. --Codepage (talk) 07:00, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I moved the above from my talk page - please discuss it here. I just need to clarify that it is not my edit that I was reverting yours to - it was originally done by User:Fnlayson. The Aircraft WikiProject's style guide requires unit cost to be expressed per single aircraft. Roger (talk) 07:14, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Unit cost is a per aircraft cost. Listing the total cost for the four aircraft and related equipment as the Unit cost is misleading at the least. Basic aircraft costs is usually what is listed, not various support equipment. Flyaway cost is preferred per the Aircraft project layout guide (WP:Air/PC). -Fnlayson (talk) 15:48, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Fnlayson, a plane is a system of weapon, like a tank or a frigate http: // only that in case of these systems, the terminus of control and the satellite link are integrated in the own vehicles, but in case of the UAV's it is not like that and if we want to give a trustworthy information of the system MQ-1 Predator we have to show the complete price of the same one, not only of one of the planes that integrate it.
A very clear example is that of the MIM-104 Patriot http: //, in the first line of the article, says clearly " … is to surface-to-air missile SYSTEM … " and in the session Patriot Equipament enumerates all the parts of those that it is composed " The Patriot SYSTEM … All components, consisting of the fire control section (radar set, engagement control section, antenna mast group, electric power plant) and launchers, plough truck - or trailer - mounted … " because of it 170 million $ do not refer to the cost of a truck, but to that of all the elements before mentioned.
--Codepage (talk) 07:30, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
"Unit cost" has a specific meaning, and that meaning is the sense in which it is used in the infobox. User:Askari Mark/Understanding aircraft unit costs contains good information on how the various costs are derived, and what the various terms means, as written by a Wikipeidan with experience in the US aerospace industry. "Government oversight" groups tend to use their own definitions, usually based on dividing the total program costs by the units produced, and this can be very confusing, and usually misleading. From the essay, what they usually are reporting is "Program acquisition cost", or "Total flyaway cost". - BilCat (talk) 09:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The Unit Cost listed is supposed to be for the aircraft itself, not the full weapon system it is part of. There are too many variables to try and accurately cover related/associated system costs. And if we did that for UAVs/RPVs, people would suggest doing the same for piloted aircraft also, for consistency. Drawing the line at the aircraft makes a clear & clean break point for unit cost, imo. -Fnlayson (talk) 20:22, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

USAF got infected[edit] Virus infects Pentagon drones' computers

Solid enough to add yet? Should this go under the USAF Cyber Command page instead? Hcobb (talk) 16:53, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Not directly related to the MQ-1 or anything particularly important - have you tried wiki news for this unencyclopedic stuff. MilborneOne (talk) 16:59, 8 October 2011 (UTC)


The endurance is stated to be 24 hours. The range is 1100km, and the stalling speed is around 100km/h. So even if a predator flies at its stalling speed, it can only fly for 1100/100=11 hours. Something must be wrong here. — Preceding unsigned

ZeroXero (talk) 22:51, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

comment added by (talk) 00:48, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

This isn't a missile: it has to fly home. Example - fly 9 hrs Chicago to Mass, spy on Romney for 6 hrs, then return to Chicago. (talk) 01:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

inadvertently kill Afghan scrap metal collectors[edit]

Seems like vandalism. The car became scrap metal!

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Video from April 11, 2014 shows a Predator drone flying over the Amurskiy Bridge in Dnipropetrovsk in southern Ukraine. Note, that the landing gear are down, indicating that it is operating from a base or airfield near by.

Are there any reliable sources for this operation? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:09, 14 April 2014 (UTC)