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US Air Force drone crashes in New Mexico

Updated: 2013-11-01 09:21
( Xinhua)

HOUSTON - The US Air Force confirmed Thursday that one of its Predator drones crashed near a military base in New Mexico a day earlier during a training exercise.

The crash happened on the White Sands Missile Range from Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo Wednesday. The base is the home of the 49th Wing of the Air Combat Command, which provides combat-ready Airmen, F-22 Raptors, and trains MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators.

Cause of the crash remained under investigation. The MQ-1B drone was said to be experiencing "an in-flight emergency". According to the Air Force, the drone then flew a pre-programed path away from human activity until it crashed.

No one was injured and no private property was affected in the incident.

Initially conceived in the early 1990s for reconnaissance and forward observation roles, the MQ-1 Predator carries cameras and other sensors but has been modified and upgraded to carry and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or other munitions. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, according to Wikipedia.