Some MALE platforms have evolved into armed Hunter-Killer
platforms. Representing this trend is the USAF
Predator B system. As a
Hunter Killer platform these systems integrate on board everything
required to detect, identify, localize, designate and strike a target.
These elements include wide area covering radar and narrow-field of
view EO/IR sensors covering wide area, with the capability to "Spot"
on a specific target for closer identification.
These sensors are used
for target detection, identification and tracking. Some system
elements are employed at the ground segment, particularly image
processing and automation. Such process can detect suspicious traces
leading the operators to a potential target. The platform also has
designation means, including laser designator and geo-location
capability, which can be fed to an on-board weapon.
When deployed in
the hunter-killer role, Predator B maintains a low profile at high
altitude, orbiting and striking targets from relatively long distance,
few minutes after they are detected. Use of low signature weapons,
such as JDAM,
laser guided bombs or
Viper Strike means that the UAV
can attack without emitting a visual flash or smoke "puffs" missile