USFK to Deploy Advanced Killer Drones

  • By Yu Yong-weon

    April 06, 2020 13:01

    The U.S. Forces Korea will deploy six new advanced spy and killer drones this year.

    A source on Sunday said six Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) drones will be deployed at a USFK air base in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province in September.

    The Gray Eagle Extended Range

    An improved version of the MQ-1C attack drone, they can fly for more than 40 hours non-stop and carry about 1 ton of bombs and missiles, including Hellfire anti-tank missiles that can hit tanks some 8 km away and GBU-44/B Viper Strike advanced GPS-aided laser-guided munitions. They are capable of detecting targets up to 75 km away. 

    The U.S. military mobilized an MQ-9 Reaper attack drone to kill Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in January, and the GE-ER can carry out similar operations.

    It also has the capacity to guide surface-to-ship ballistic missiles, for example against North Korean warships in the West Sea, so the threat could help force Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.

    It can guide Army Tactical Missile System missiles with a range of 300 km with "pinpoint" accuracy. Six MQ-1C Gray Eagles are already deployed at the air base in Gunsan.

    The new drones were to have been deployed earlier, but U.S. President Donald Trump diverted the budget to his Mexican border wall.

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