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Italy receives Predator-A drones

The final two Predator-A remotely piloted aircraft from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. have been delivered to Italy.

By Richard Tomkins
Italy receives Predator-A drones
The "B" variant of the Predator. U.S. Air Force photo

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The Italian Air Force has taken delivery of two Predator-A drones from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., the last two Predator-A systems being produced.

The remotely piloted aircraft will perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

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"With the delivery of these aircraft, GA-ASI completes over two decades of delivering Predator A capabilities to the United States and allied countries," said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. "Amassing over 2.1 million cumulative flight hours and featuring the highest mission capable rate of any aircraft in the Air Force's inventory, Predators will continue to keep warfighters safe by equipping them with unparalleled situational awareness for many years to come."

Italy is the first country in Europe to have achieved an RPA airworthiness certification for the Predator-A and GA-ASI has been supplying it with the aircraft for more than a decade.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is a leading provider of remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic systems. It currently produces the Predator-B aircraft, also known as the MQ-9 Reaper, an armed drone.

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