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Five years before Canada has armed drones

June 11, 2010, Kandahar, Afghanistan - A senior Canadian air commander says the military is at least five years away from acquiring armed drones.


June 11, 2010
By The Canadian Press

Maj.-Gen. Yvan Blondin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, says he believes it's likely to take that long before Canada acquires the unmanned aerial vehicles.

Blondin was making a rare visit to Kandahar Airfield, where he was briefed on Canada's air operations in southern Afghanistan.

In addition to Chinook and Griffon helicopters, Canada currently operates unarmed drones in Kandahar province to conduct reconnaissance for NATO forces.

The vehicles, which are flown by controllers on the ground, help the coalition keep watch over roads where Taliban fighters are believed to be planting roadside bombs or plan ambushes.

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Canada's air wing at Kandahar Airfield became fully operational a year ago.