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Uganda acquires ravens to increase force protection in Somalia
Sunday, August 05, 2012
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According to Uganda’s defense state minister, General Jeje Odong, the Uganda People's Defence Force deployed in Somalia under the African Union Mission will use unmanned aircrafts to scout out the local Somalia terrain to increase situational awareness for troops on the ground by giving them a better picture of enemy positions.
Since deployment in 2007, the Uganda People's Defence Force has lost several soldiers as a result of failure to comb al-Shabab fighters. The country’s acquisition of 12 RQ-11 Raven which is a small unmanned aircraft system designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for military operations according to the army is a big milestone in reducing combat deaths in the war ravaged horn of Africa country.
Launched in just minutes, by hand, into the air like a model airplane, the Raven lands itself by auto-piloting to a near hover. It does not require carefully prepared landing strips. Requiring no elaborate support facilities, the Raven ideally suits forward-deployed units. Automated features and GPS technology make it simple to operate, requiring no specialized skills or in-depth flight training.
The Raven is expected to meet Somalia troop requirements for low-altitude inspection, surveillance and target acquisition since it can be operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation, utilizing the system's advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation and therefore reducing the chances of frontline troops falling into the traps of enemy positions.
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