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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems

NEWS
April 1, 2003 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
Defense contractors are working behind the scenes to figure out how their weapons are performing in Iraq, knowing that future Pentagon contracts will flow to the companies with the best military hardware. The stakes are huge for defense firms in Southern California, the nation's center for new weapons development. After the war, the Pentagon is sure to redefine which technologies are likely to get more funding and which may fall by the wayside. If the high-tech weapons don't match expectations or aren't as decisive in battle as foot soldiers and tanks, funding priorities could shift.
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BUSINESS
August 7, 2004 | Peter Pae, By Peter Pae
With its plank-like wings and a leisurely cruising speed of 84 mph, the propeller-driven Predator spy plane looked pokey compared with the fighter jets zooming across the desert sky. But when the Predator made a picture-perfect landing, 600 people encircled it. The crowd appeared eager to hoist the pilot to their shoulders -- except the plane doesn't have a pilot or a cockpit or any windows. The Predator was "piloted" by a computer operator working a joystick in a nearby trailer.
WORLD
September 12, 2008 | Greg Miller and Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writers
As part of an escalating offensive against extremist targets in Pakistan, the United States is deploying Predator aircraft equipped with sophisticated new surveillance systems that were instrumental in crippling the insurgency in Iraq, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials. The use of the specially equipped drones comes amid a fundamental shift in U.S. strategy in the area. After years of deferring to Pakistani authorities, the Bush administration is turning toward unilateral American military operations -- a gambit that could increase pressure on Islamic militants but risks alienating a country that has been a key counter-terrorism ally.
NEWS
December 2, 1995 | JAMES RISEN and RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
With 20,000 U.S. troops poised to enter Bosnia on a potentially bloody peacekeeping mission, the CIA and the Pentagon had hoped to rely to an unprecedented degree on unmanned spy aircraft to provide GIs with vital intelligence as they slog across the steep hills and cloud-covered valleys of the Balkans.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2003 | Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writer
San Diego got pounded during the early-1990s recession. But the hammering lately is the sound of new construction. While the state and national economies stagnate, California's second-largest city is experiencing a residential renaissance. Developers have completed more than 2,000 condos, lofts and apartments downtown over the last three years and are planning 9,000 more in the next five years.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2002 | PETER PAE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
President Bush has been able to tune in video images of Taliban targets in Afghanistan from the safety and comfort of the White House, giving the commander in chief a powerful capability. The top-secret television feed from the war zone is forwarded via military satellites from the Predator, a remotely controlled spy plane built by a relatively obscure San Diego aerospace firm.
NEWS
February 3, 2002 | WILLIAM M. ARKIN, TIMES SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
In Afghanistan, unmanned aircraft have come as close to being war heroes as machines can get. They are providing invaluable reconnaissance, damage assessment and other intelligence information. Some have even hit enemy targets. All at zero risk to American pilots. Despite their increasing acceptance by a once-skeptical military, however, unmanned aircraft will be hard to find when the Pentagon unveils its new budget Monday.
NEWS
October 3, 2001 | PETER PAE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even before terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, the Pentagon and the defense industry were gearing up for a new kind of warfare taking shape in Afghanistan and elsewhere, designing spy equipment and weapons that could pinpoint moving targets and knock them out in minutes.
WORLD
January 29, 2006 | Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writer
Despite protests from other countries, the United States is expanding a top-secret effort to kill suspected terrorists with drone-fired missiles as it pursues an increasingly decentralized Al Qaeda, U.S. officials say. The CIA's failed Jan. 13 attempt to assassinate Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri in Pakistan was the latest strike in the "targeted killing" program, a highly classified initiative that officials say has broadened as the network splintered and fled Afghanistan.
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