What is General Atomics Aeronautical Systems?Submitted by JoeDanger on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 01:11
If you don't know already, GA-ASI is the patent-holder manufacturer of the unmanned aerial vehicles General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, or Predator B, and the MQ-1 Predator. The US Air Force classifies these aerial weapons, armed with optics, camera, transmitter for the video signal and oftentimes missles or bombs, as Medium Altitude Long Endurance or MALE.
These accounts, previously linked or listed in these pages, show some of the recent reports of the capabilities and applications of the proud fleet produced and distributed by the good people of San Diego, Palmdale and Lancaster.
"I was in Damadola when the drones came. They killed more than 80 teenagers – all students – and, yes they were learning the Koran, and the madrasah, the Islamic school, was run by a Taliban commander. But 80! Many of them came from Bajaur, which would be attacked later. Their parents came afterwards, all their mothers were there, but the bodies were in pieces. There were so many children, some as young as 12. We didn't know how to fit them together." This statement was taken by British journalist Robert Fisk from a Pakistani journalist who was forced to speak under condition of anonymity because he, like so many in Pakistan living in dangerous surroundings, has no immediate plan to change occupations.
Alex Rodriguez and David Zucchino of the Los Angeles Times wrote May 2 from Pakistan, "Their whir is unmistakable, a buzzing hum that prompts the tribespeople of Waziristan to refer to the fleet of armed U.S. drone aircraft hovering overhead as machay, or wasps. The Khan family never heard it. They had been sleeping for an hour when a Hellfire missile pierced their mud hut on an August night in 2008. Black smoke and dust choked villagers as they dug through the rubble. Four-year-old Zeerak's legs were severed. His sister Maria, 3, was badly scorched. Both were dead. When their cousin Irfan, 16, saw them, he gently curled them into his arms, squeezed the rumpled bodies to his chest, lightly kissed their faces, and slid into a stupor."