The US is expected to deploy MQ-IC Gray Eagle attack drone in South Korea.
“There has been a move to dispatch the drone to be operated by the US Forces in Korea including last year’s test flight,” an unnamed military official was quoted as saying by Korea Herald news daily Wednesday.
Another official said, “The US will have more leeway to send more assets to the Asia region now that it has resolved one longstanding major issue in the Middle East -- Iran -- despite the ongoing fight against the Islamic State.”
The deployment is meant to be part of the allies’ efforts to bolster their reconnaissance and combat capabilities and better counter North Korean threats, Seoul officials said.
An upgrade to the MQ-1 Predator, the medium-altitude UAV was chiefly designed for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition purposes and can be fitted with the Hellfire air-to-ground missiles or Viper Strike guided bombs for attack missions.
It can fly for as long as 25 hours at an altitude of up to 8,000 meters, and carry a payload of more than 454 kilograms, the San Diego-based firm noted, calling it a “key force multiplier.”