RQ-1A Predator UAV (1995)
About the Design
Beginning in the mid-1980s, both the Pentagon and the CIA began a push to develop remote controlled aerial drones that could replace vulnerable manned aircraft in both reconnaissance and combat missions. In 1994, General Atomics Corporation was awarded a contract to develop what become one of the first practical UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), the RQ-1 Predator.
Designated a MALE (Medium-Altitude Long Endurance) UAV system, the Predator has been in constant use since 1995, seeing action in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq in Yemen. Although initially just a reconnaissance platform, the vehicle was subsequently updated with the ability to carrying two hellfire missiles. Its role as a UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) has increased significantly in the 21st century, leading to it being reclassified from RQ-1 (Reconnaissance Unmanned) to ML-1 (Multi-Role Unmanned).
About the Kit
This 1:72 model from Japan's Platz company was the first styrene kit of a UAV/UCAV ever produced. Although the kit came with decals to accompany various versions of the Predator, the kit itself only represented the simple, unarmed RQ-1A version.
This model was built from an original issue.