No plans to send Hunter UAVs to South Korea, Army officials say
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — The United States has no plans to deploy the Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to South Korea, according to 8th Army officials.
Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Martz, 2nd Infantry Division assistant division commander (maneuver), was quoted in the Korea Times newspaper this week as stating that Hunters were to replace Shadow UAVs already deployed on the Korean peninsula.
However, on Wednesday, 8th Army public affairs chief Lt. Col. Tom Budzyna stated that Martz’s statement was incorrect and that no decision had been made to deploy the Hunter to South Korea.
“Any decision to deploy the Hunter UAV would be made at the Department of Defense level at a minimum,” Budzyna stated in an e-mail.
According to the army-technology.com Web site, the Hunter UAV can perform a range of missions including collecting real-time imagery, assessing battle damage and doing reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battlefield observation.
The Hunter can carry and deploy anti-tank weapons and a larger version has been developed that can fly longer and at altitudes up to 20,000 feet, the Web site states.
“Since 1999, Hunters have been deployed in Macedonia, in support of NATO forces in Kosovo. … Since March 2003, Hunter UAVs, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, have flown more than 600 reconnaissance, surveillance and target-acquisition missions,” the Web site states. “From November 2004, two US Army Hunter UAVs have been used for border patrol in Arizona by the US Department of Homeland Security.”