Predator B Patrols on US-Canada Border Near

The Department of Homeland Security’s first Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle destined for patrols along the US-Canada border arrived Dec. 6 at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. Operational flights are expected to commence with it as early as January, DHS’ Customs and Border Protection component said in a release that same day. Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner of CBP’s Air and Marine division, said expanding DHS’ use of UAVs to the northern border represents “a significant step forward” that will enhance the ability of US and Canadian law enforcement officials to identify and intercept “potential terrorist or illegal cross-border activity.” DHS has been using UAVs along the US-Mexico border since 2005. In fact, the Predator B now at Grand Forks flew in from Fort Huachuca Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems builds the Predator B, which is essentially an unarmed version of the Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper. It carries sophisticated electro-optical sensors, built by Raytheon, as well as a synthetic aperture radar.