Italy decommissioned the MQ-1 Predator drone - it served 18 years and flew more than 32,000 hours
The Italian Air Force has decommissioned the old MQ-1 Predator drone. The drone had been in service for nearly two decades.
Here's What We Know
The MQ-1 Predator is a MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) class drone. It was developed by General Atomics and made its first flight in 2002. The Italian Air Force decommissioned the drone, which was adopted into service in 2004.
At Italian Air Force 32nd Wing took place the start of phase-out cerimony of oldest MQ-1 Predator A MALE UAVs fleet. The MQ-1A UAVs can be replaced by new Leonardo FalcoXplorer MALE class UAVs for ISTAR and long surveillance mission tasks.- Ciro Nappi (@CiroNappi6) December 27, 2022
Photos from Italian Air Force. pic.twitter.com/JPjFumD9VM
The MQ-1 is a striking modification of the RQ-1 reconnaissance drone, which appeared at the end of the 20th century. In addition, it is the first drone model that can carry weapons. In particular, the Hellfire missiles.
The cost per UAV was about $4 million. In total, General Atomics produced 75 MQ-1 and 285 RQ-1 drones.
The Italian drone was first used for operational missions in January 2005. It has spent more than 31,000 hours in the air in 18 years, flying more than 3,800 sorties. In the future, the Italian Air Force plans to adopt the European Falco Explorer drone, which is being developed by Leonardo.