Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flies on a simulated Navy aerial reconnaissance flight near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) off the coast of southern California on Dec. 5, 1995. The Predator provides near, real-time infrared and color video to intelligence analysts and controllers on the ground and the ship. This is the Predator’s first maritime mission with a carrier battle group. The UAV was launched from San Nicholas Island off the coast of southern California. DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey S. Viano, U.S. Navy.
DefenseNews appears to be telling us that the AirForce is replacing the MQ-1 Predator with the more capable MQ-9 Reaper.
Does that mean there will be surplus MQ-1s?
We have a need for shore based Unmanned Aircraft to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness. Perhaps surplus Air Force Predators could be an interim step.