Slow Orders for High-Demand Predator UAV:

Slow Orders for Larger Predator UAV: Tom Cassidy, head of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, told us last week at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium that he is surprised that the Air Force has not entered into long-term, multi-year buys for the larger model Predator B. “The B is a fabulous airplane,” Cassidy said. He did say that GAAS has an option to ramp up to 22 of the B-model UAVs, but he maintained that the Air Force “needs to move quicker.” Word from the Air Force budget brief is that USAF has two B models budgeted for 2006 and 2007 delivery, with a total of 14 on contract. And, USAF officials said that some developmental Bs are deployed to Southwest Asia.