US sale of MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone to Ukraine hits stumbling block: report

U.S. Army photo

Plans by the US administration to sell four large drones to Ukraine have been delayed over fears the technology could end up in enemy hands, according to a report by Reuters.  

According to a previous report, the United States Department of Defense was planning to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle Medium Altitude Long Endurance armed drones to Ukraine.  

However, Reuters reported on June 17, 2022, that the plans had met with concerns that the equipment could fall into enemy hands.  

The news agency cited two sources as saying a technical objection over the export of the drones was raised during a review by the Pentagon. The fear is that the radar and surveillance equipment on the drones may create a security risk for the United States if it falls into Russian hands, the article said.   

The Gray Eagle is based on the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial system developed by General Atomics. It can carry AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and GBU-44/B Viper Strike guided bombs.  

The Reuters report further cited one of its sources, described as a US official, as saying that the decision on whether to send the drones to Ukraine has been moved up the chain of command for review.  

Reuters cited the Pentagon as saying that technology security reviews were standard practice. “All cases are reviewed on their own merit,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying.  


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