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UN Report: Aerovironment Spy Drones May Be Wreaking Havoc in Somalia

Spy drones that appear to be made by Monrovia-based Aerovironment have caused crashes or near-crashes in the war-torn African nation, according to the United Nations.

Locally developed spy drones may be responsible for several crashes and near crashes of unmanned aircraft in Somalia in potential violation of an arms embargo, according to the United Nations.

AIN Online reports that a drone nearly collided with a 737 jumbo jet earlier this year and several drones have crashed over Somalia in the last year. Some drones are apparently being controlled by the U.S. military, according to AIN.

"...Independent media reports have documented the deployment of U.S.-operated aircraft in the region, including their suspected use in targeted assassinations of leaders of the Al-Shabaab Islamist extremist group," AIN reports.

An aircraft that matches the description of 's Raven model flew dangerously close to a fuel depot earlier this year, according to AIN.

The Raven is an unmanned spy drone produced by Huntington Drive based Aerovironment. The is equipped with cameras and can be carried by backpack by soldiers in war zones.

peter lambert August 05, 2012 at 09:08 AM
I know that AVAV drones save lives of both the operators and those who are being surveyed. I believe your the information you posted about a drone flying to close to a 757 jet is not accurate, this did occur but it was not a Raven or AVAV drone of any type. It was a much larger drone called a predator and is not made by AVAV. AVAV drones weight 4 to 7 pounds and would not be able to keep up in speed or in the air wake of a jumbo jet. Please check this statement and post the source if it turns out to be true.
Gayle M. Montgomery August 05, 2012 at 09:37 AM
Somalia has been a hot bed of tumult and foments terrorism. Lord knows they've wreaked enough trouble for us in the past. I believe the drone technology is a much better use of resource, especially when used to target specific homes and not incur all that collateral damage. With no disrespect to those Somalis who are innocent, they need a good bed checking. Can they be put to use on the Somali pirates that have hijacked how many ships now?

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