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Helicopter lost over Libya is new US drone: officials

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June 22, 2011

A drone helicopter that lost radar contact with NATO over Libya is a Fire Scout, an unmanned US chopper, defense officials said Tuesday, revealing the use of the new robotic aircraft in the war.

“We don’t know yet” why NATO’s command center in Naples, Italy lost contact with the MQ-8B Fire Scout, a US defense official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

It was unclear whether the small helicopter, equipped with cameras and sensors for surveillance flights off naval ships, had been shot down or suffered mechanical or communications problems.

The Pentagon had previously announced the deployment of two armed Predator drones for the NATO-led air campaign against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s forces, but had not previously cited any role for the unmanned helicopter.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 3:21 am

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