Air-to-Ground Missile Launched from US Air Force QF-4 Drone

Released on Monday, January 21, 2008
United States of America
F-4E Phantom II
FSAT - Full-Scale Aerial Targets
SAM - Surface-to-Air Missile
1/21/2008 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- For the first time, an air-to-ground missile was launched from a full-scale aerial target drone, or FSAT. The test was performed Jan. 9 by Airmen here with Detachment 1 of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron.

The FSAT is an unmanned QF-4 Phantom drone that was operated by remote control from a ground station, said Maj. John Markle, the detachment's operations officer.

"This is the first air-to-ground missile fired off an unmanned full-scale aerial target," said Major Markle. "This test is an important part of the Det. 1 mission because it increases survivability of our Airmen going against (surface-to-air missile) threats. Furthermore, it's the first time the drone has been able to shoot back.

"It makes airpower more lethal," said Major Markle. "This is a new high-speed, anti-radiation missile the Navy designed to defeat SAM threats; overall this mission is going to benefit the Department of Defense."

"With this successful test, we have pioneered a new venue to test forward-firing ordnance without risk to valuable air assets or crew members," said Lt. Col. Joel Rush, Det. 1's commander.

The detachment is currently testing F-35 Lightning components, and has conducted tests for the F-22 Raptor as well as the Patriot and HAWK SAM systems.

Source: Air-to-ground missile launched from drone

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