A U.S. Gray Eagle UAS has crashed in southern Iraq.
A photo posted on Jul. 21 on Twitter shows some people taking shots around a crashed (still largely intact) MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) sporting U.S. Army markings.
The Gray Eagle is an advanced derivative of the Predator specialized in providing direct operation control by Army field commanders. It can fly Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); convoy protection; Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection as well as providing live aerial imagery to ground patrols carrying also PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions): in other words, it can support a wide variety of missions including attack, assault, reconnaissance, infiltration and exfiltration, and any kind of known or unknown special operations you may imagine.
That’s why it is also operated by the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) “Night Stalkers”, a Special Operations unit that used two stealthy MH-X “Silent Hawk” (or Stealth Black Hawk) to infiltrate and exfiltrate U.S. Navy SEALs during the Osama Bin Laden raid back in 2011.
The “Night Stalker” have been quite active in the region since August 2014 and have recently taken part in a “daring” raid to kill ISIS high level operative Abu Sayyaf, in eastern Syria.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) is known to operate 12 Gray Eagle (along with a fleet of smaller RQ-11B Raven and RQ-7 Shadow drones, that are used for ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) task in support to Special Ops.
A U.S drone crashed in the desert of Samawa province in southern iraq earlier today pic.twitter.com/VbQiCPJFJ6
— Steven Nabil (@stevoiraq) July 21, 2015