One of the best unkept secrets in Kandahar Airbase is that " The Beast of Kandahar" is regularly seen flying over and around the skies of Afghanistan....There are many variants that have borne this moniker, but the latest is the RQ 170 Sentinel. Taking pictures of the flightline is strictly verboten but obviously it happens all too frequently.
Like most military vehicles, each specific type of drone has it's own specific tasking. Many are no more than mobile camera platforms. designed to be the eyes in the sky while others are tasked with finding the enemy and sending him "greetings" from above.....We like both but I personally find the 2nd type to be most effective. The enemy can't hear'em, can't see'em but sure has hell FEAR THEM....Awesome.
The existence of these vehicles is not a secret and a quick search on Google will show hundreds of example including the pics at the top of this column...Like I said, one of the best unkept secret in the AFGHN AOR.....also because the Taliban have seen what happens when one of these magnificent machines finds some of their brethren..Hopefully, the use of this technology will save Afghan civilians lives as it will take out the terrorists where they stand....Again, very awesome.
The 'Beast of Kandahar' Stealth Aircraft Quietly Resurfaces
By Clay Dillow - Popsci.com
All of a sudden it was there, but then like any good stealth aircraft it vanished. Now the “Beast of Kandahar” has resurfaced in new photos, spurring aviation and defense wonks to once again speculate about the function and purpose of such a stealthy-looking unmanned aerial system.
The Beast, also known as the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, first appeared in 2009 in the skies over Kandahar in Afghanistan. It was later revealed to be a product of Lockheed’s Skunk Works and property of the U.S. Air Force, but that’s about all that was revealed. What the RQ-170 is designed to do—or is doing in Afghanistan—remains under wraps.
Bill Sweetman, keeper of Aviation Week’s Ares blog and the civilian authority on the drone at this point, has speculated that aside from the obvious reconnaissance functions, the Beast could perhaps be configured to carry “a high-powered microwave source” to fry computers and electronic equipment on the ground, or an electronic jamming platform to support other aircraft. But at the official level, silence surrounds the Beast of Kandahar and its potential combat (or non-combat) functions, and quiet is exactly the way a secret stealth drone likes it.