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To replace drone strikes, US to give Yemen Hellfire-armed crop dusters

Looking to get out of the business of secret drone strikes against Al Qaeda members and others in Yemen, the US is preparing to give the Yemeni Air Force its own, somewhat lower-tech equivalent of the Predator and Reaper for carrying out “targeted killing” operations. According to documents obtained by Buzzfeed’s Aram Roston, the US will provide a squadron of 10 aircraft originally designed as crop dusters, which are now equipped for a wholly different sort of reaping. ( More...

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aknorris 7
I think I see the sequel for Disney's "Planes" being written out now.... Dusty Crophopper gives up world racing to fight terrorism.
bbabis 3
These aircraft have been fighting the drug cartels for years. Going after Al Qaeda vermin is not a huge jump. What I don't like is any U.S. crew members on them. That is just begging for hostage situations.
dg1941 2
I've heard of it. A few years ago I remember the USAF putting out a bid for this, and if I remember correctly Air Tractor and Ag Cat were the two finalists before the bid was rescinded citing budget concerns.
Is this for real? I feel like I'm reading an "The Onion" article...
Torsten Hoff 1
It's real.
Afandi Yussof 1
what went wrong with the drone strike?
This is absolutely for real. I've seen the test bed flying locally around me. But why not? These things are built for down low and dirty missions elsewhere and can carry a load. Sounds like a descent alternative if you have to include a pilot.
Awesome! It must be confusing for the enemy to hear the sound of props instead of jets.
dg1941 1
And all at the same time that they have announced the retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II platform. I would assume this is a much cheaper alternative if I may say so myself.
James Adkins 1
I though I was reading an onion article too. It's not that I think the platform isn't capable, but the idea of giving the Yemeni goverment hellfire missles is stupid beyond words.
Where can I buy a ticket to watch our Air Force Instructor Pilots teach the Yemen's to fly tail-draggers in a cross wind.
I am sure they will learn, but at what cost (to whom) to ground loop one of these?
Is this a early April fool joke or what ?
ADXbear 1
Geeezzzz, it like putting an AK47 on a Moped... what's next
Torsten Hoff 1
Recoil-less rifle on a moped. :)
joel wiley 1
Unarmed Vespas are annoying by themselves- that's just overkill.


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