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Wed, Jun 22, 2011

NATO Helicopter UAS Down In Libya

Fire Scout Is Reportedly The First NATO Aircraft To Go Down In The Conflict

A NATO Fire Scout UAS has reportedly gone down in Libya, though that country's military claimed at first it was an Apache gunship. NATO says aircraft was engaged in surveillance of pro-Gadhafi forces.


File Photo

Spokesman Wing Commander Mike Bracken said in a news conference that "(a)t 0720 GMT, NATO received reports (that) an unmanned, autonomous helicopter drone, used by NATO forces, lost radar contact with the command center. This drone helicopter, unmanned, was performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance over Libya to monitor pro-Gadhafi forces threatening the civilian population."

The Voice of America reports that Libyan government television showed video footage of the wreckage, and claimed that it had shot down an Apache attack helo. Spokesman Bracken did not say whether enemy fire was involved in the loss of the Fire Scout.

Libya is accusing NATO forces of hitting civilian targets, and that several children have been killed in airstrikes. NATO says that while there have been a few isolated civilian casualties, the allegations are false.

FMI: www.nato.int

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