Predator Approved for Export to More Nations

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems says it has received State Department approval to export an unarmed version of its Predator A remotely piloted aircraft to a wider foreign market, including Pakistan and nations in the Middle East. To date, Predators have been available only to NATO allies, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. The company calls the new export version the Predator XP. Unlike the MQ-1 Predators flown by the Air Force, this export version would be unable to carry weapons and is envisioned for use strictly as an overhead surveillance and reconnaissance platform. According to a Bloomberg news wire service report, the company sees potential sales of up to 100 units in the Middle East and Pakistan. This model is also being promoted to Mexico and nations in South America.