Drones Do Excellent Urban Close Air Support; Mideast F-35A Deployment In Several Years « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary: If Congress was skeptical of bombers and fighters doing Close Air Support, how will they react to MQ-9s doing the toughest CAS mission around — taking out targets in the close confines of an urban fight?
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the soon-to-retire head of Air Combat Command, told reporters this morning that the Reaper is performing urban missions and doing a very fine job of it too. I understand there are videos of Hellfire missiles fired by Reapers snaking through an urban environment, heading through a window or door, exploding and leaving the structure intact (though it may not be very safe). While there have been isolated mentions of the Reaper performing CAS missions in Iraq and Syria, none have mentioned urban CAS operations, the most complex and difficult to perform given the difficulty of identifying targets, causing as little damage to homes and businesses as possible and killing as few innocents as humanly possible.
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