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#5682 2011-10-04 GMT-5 hours    
The Predator program in the Italian Air Force is derived from the need of an effective component of modern unmanned aircraft (Unmanned Aircraft System), capable of providing for long periods of time, activity 'surveillance and reconnaissance of large areas or taking specific positions advantage of the fact that the handling and management of the sensors are placed via a control station located on the ground and dedicated connections.
In order to gain experience in the field, especially in conducting surveillance and reconnaissance missions in 2001 and partirte from 'Predator A program was launched, based on 6 aircraft and two control stations terra.e data loading reconstituted to 28 unmanned aircraft Squadron "The Witches", which already 'belonged to the 3rd Wing in Villafranca then dissolved in the restructuring of the Armed Forces in December 2005 when the first units arrived.
A remote steering system 'consists of four components: the aircraft, sensors or payload, the ground station for the guidance and attitude control and telecommunications sector for the exchange of data. The Predator A has the capacity 'to remain in flight for about 20 hours while maintaining a speed' of 135-160 km / h and a maximum altitude of 8000 meters. The eromobile and 'equipped with infrared and electro-optical sensors that allow you to carry out missions in all conditions luce.Velivolo and sensors are managed by the ground control station which' consists of a group of subsystems, and workstations used for the planning and conduct of the mission.
The crew of the station operating and control 'consists of a pilot, an operator of sensors and a supervisor for the management of telecommunications missione.Il segment provides real-time guidance of the aircraft by the ground station on the airplane and in the opposite direction , the flow of video surveillance and reconnaissance
In 2004, after the first delivery of the system and personnel qualification, and 'decided to send in the Iraqi theater of operations of the Predator in order to support and provide protection to our forces deployed on the ground until October 2006.
The Predator, engaged in Afghanistan since June 2007 as part of the ISAF mission, but is continuing its activities 'as already' made in the Iraqi theater with support for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, which is particularly important for the troops on the ground Because of the 'rough shape of territgorio, communication lines as well as inadequate and difficult weather conditions as well as' the nature of the terrorist threat is countered with guerrilla tactics appropriate.
The use of the Predator in Iraq and Afghanistan has highlighted the high degree of its effect upon 'the possibility' to remain for long periods near the areas monitored, not having to approach too guarded areas, provide the flow high-definition video in real time to troops on the ground. These remarkable performances of the aircraft were also used for surveillance during the Italo-Russian intergovernmental summit held in Bari in 2007.
In May 2011, the Predator framed in the Task Group "Ator" framed in the Joint Air Task Force (JATF), which depends on the Regional Command Herat.hanno exceeded 6,000 flights and flying hours in more than 750 missions conducted from 2007 to today Afghan theater committed in favor of the Italian contingent of the allied forces and ISAF.
Over tempoil system 'has been updated to improve performance and eliminate already' some obsolescence, from the Predator type A in A-Plus in 2009 and used in this variant during the G8 reunion in L' Aquila town and currently in Iraq
The excellent results achieved have led us to consider the increase in capacity 'by operating Predator A and reached to purchase a new aircraft with a capacity' higher overall.
In today's converging on the operational scenario tool joint military requirements vital to meet security and defense functions through the prevention, surveillance of advanced defense and space land / sea / air of national interest (Homeland Defense); capacitas screening of 'operational the achievement of stability 'and security in areas outside national borders (Expeditionary). In this context the role of component-based air surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned 'an enabling factor that contributes in a decisive manner to improve the knowledge of the activities' and movements along the roads or areas of interest.
Therefore, to ensure these targets, the Ministry of Defense has responded to the Predator program, providing for the acquisition of aircraft in version 6 Predator B (MQ-9 Reaper designated by the USAF and the Royal Air Force) with their sensors to operate in all light conditions and weather that can deliver good performance level even more 'high by A-Plus, a maggiopre availability' of ground control stations, 'satellite communications equipment as well as additional' to keep in potential, the 'simultaneous use of these structures in two different missions outside the box and an operational component / trainers in the country.
The Predator B characterized by a high degree of technological development, will be able to perform a wide spectrum of missions with considerable flexibility 'of use, a significant versatility', a high persistence and a proven operational effectiveness. In particular, the system will be able 'to support the fight against improvised explosive devices that represent the threat more' insidious and common in theaters operated today. A further factor concerns the ability 'of these assets to ensure the conduct of missions even in scenarios with the presence of contamination Nuclear Chemistry and Biological Radiological and for which' most 'high risk of casualties.
The first equipment of the Predator B, 2 aircraft and two ground stations, are already 'but operational and' predicted that by 2012 will be sent from the U.S. base at Amendola home of 32 Wing specimens remaining to complete the fleet 12 machines, where the technicians of the company that GA-ASI (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.) in conjunction with the Air Force will proceed with the steps for installing and setting up the system for providing an early start to the activity ' flight crews with the already "combat ready" and whose qualification 'in the U.S. occurred at Holloman while a second phase under the supervision of U.S. personnel and' programmed directly to Amendola.
The aircraft already 'have reached the operational capacity that is the IOC's' Operation Home and can be used without difficulty 'missions by integrating the capacity of Libya' settote NATO Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or ISR
The variant of the Predator B in addition to significant improvements to the sensors, radar and electro-optical sensor long-range Raytheon MTS-B, can 'bring a great weapon, which could consist of 6 wing attacks by GBU-12 Paveway GBU or 38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attak Munition) or 14 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The armament is desired loudly by the Armed Forces, but the chance 'to get away for now still seems to come true for strictly political reasons.
Important is also to spek speak about the base of Amendola, the most' big in Italy with around 1,050 hectares. More than 1200 employees and is to receive under the program in 2015, fifth-generation single-seat multirole fighter Lockheed Martin F-35 ° and home base of 32 ° Wing "Armando Boetto". In addition to the 28° Squadron aircraft drones, are also based on 13 ° and 101 ° Gruppo of AMX aircraft in the ACOL verion that capacity upgrades' logistical and operational and equipped with advanced navigation systems as well as' capacity 'through the night flight 'use of equipment NVG (Night Vision Goggles) by the pilot.

MQ-1C Predator A"Plus"

MQ-9B Predator B

AMX ACOL 13° Gruppo Caccia Bombardieri

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