March 14, 2014
MQ-5B drone. Photo: Northrop Grumman
The Pentagon said Friday it has not deployed drones over Ukraine and denied it has lost an aircraft over Crimea:
“Judging by side marking, the MQ-5B drone was part of the 66th US brigade of military intelligence with the main location in Bavaria,” NBC News cites The Voice of Russia reporting.
From the Northrop Grumman website:
MQ-5B Hunter is a long endurance, medium altitude, multimission, tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) optimized to provide Army division and corps commanders with a dedicated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
The MQ-5B conducts battlefield surveillance using multiple sensors, including its multi-mission EO/IR/LD/LRF/Illuminator and SIGINT payloads. Flying over the battlefield, it gathers ISR data in real time, and transmits it via wideband Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) to commanders and soldiers on the ground who are able to communicate in real-time via Hunter’s Communications Relay Payload. Hunter’s multi-payload capability provides enhanced situational awareness and the ability to proactively plan and execute decisive combat operations.
If the Russian report is indeed true, it appears the Pentagon is acquiring surveillance and preparing combat operations.
Crimea will vote Sunday on a bid to secede from Ukraine.
The United Nations is set to take up a resolution on Ukraine on Saturday. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, tweeted the following on Thursday:
On Friday, Arizona Senator John McCain pledged to send combat infantry rifles and anti-tank weapons to the coup government in Kyiv as quickly as possible, according to the Associated Press.