Wednesday, June 03, 2009

RIP Sperwer

From what I've been led to believe, the Sperwer UAV flew it's last mission in support of Canadian troops in Afghanistan in mid-April. To bastardize the famous Monty Python skit, the Sperwer is no more, it has ceased to be, it is an ex-UAV.

06 Nov 2003
Kabul, Afghanistan

The Sperwer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), 161001, launches on its maiden flight in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Sperwer UAV is a target acquisition and surveillance drone deployed with Operation ATHENA in Afghanistan.

Although I have yet to speak with anyone who raved about this piece of kit - I've actually heard it referred to as "the Ford Pinto of UAVs" - it was our troops' eyes in the sky for the past few years. The system and the crews that operated and maintained it undoubtedly saved Canadian lives.

I'll be raising a glass to them tonight. Like I needed an excuse...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that taps I hear in the distance ?

Canadian troops have a history of making of making even poor equipment work to its max and beyond.

I'd bet they "customized" this Pinto, "tricked them out" a little and did more than the best with what they were given.

Glad they are gone but I concur, many lives saved. Someday the story will come out.

3:48 p.m., June 03, 2009  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Also not a great success:

F4D Skyray



8:04 p.m., June 03, 2009  
Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

OK, I have a confession to make, one of the dumber moves I've made in my life:

In the early 70's, when I was a young enlisted man in the USAF, I actually sold my '66 VW Beetle, which was running like a champ, so that I could buy a shiny red 72 Ford Pinto.

It actually did get me through my USAF enlistment, college and the first two years of my first job, before it died at about 130,000 miles.

I guess I got my money's worth out of the Pinto ... but I should have kept that VW Beetle, a wonderful and totally reliable bit of fine Kraut engineering!

Too soon old and too late smart! :-)

12:40 a.m., June 04, 2009  

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