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USFK to use Gray Eagle as wartime drone in Korea

All News 11:17 January 27, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- American troops stationed in South Korea will fly the combat drone Gray Eagle in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula, officials said Wednesday.

"U.S. Forces Korea is currently operating the Raven at the battalion level and the Shadow at the brigade level," an official at the Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Division said, referring to the hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle and the reconnaissance drone.

"In wartime, the USFK's 2nd Infantry Division will deploy the Gray Eagle," the official said.

A launch of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle combat drone will simultaneously lead to the operation of the U.S. team to process, exploit and disseminate intelligence data collected by the drone, said another official at the combined division set up inside the USFK's 2nd Infantry division.

Measured eight meters in length and 18 m in wingspan, the medium-altitude, long-endurance combat drone can stay aloft up to 30 hours after being launched and fly at a full speed of 280 kilometers per hour.

The drone is capable of high-definition surveillance and also carries four Hellfire air-to-ground anti-armor missiles, allowing the USFK to hit targets in North Korea from the other side of the border.

A USFK official later said, "We don't comment on the USFK's operational capabilities."

The USFK reportedly carried out a test flight of the Gray Eagle in August in its air base in Gunsan in North Jeolla Province.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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