On September 4, Taliban fighters shot down a U.S.-made Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The UAV was conducting a sortie over the northern Afghan province of Samangan when it was shot down, likely with machine guns.
— Zalmay Afghan (@Zalmay_Afg) September 4, 2020
The ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAV that is equipped with a day\night optical system. The UAV has a range of 100 km and can stay in the air for more than 24 hours. The UAV was designed for reconnaissance, but it can be equipped for other tasks.
Afghan sources claimed that the UAV shot down in Samangan had belonged to U.S. forces. However, this may not be the case.
The U.S. supplied a number of ScanEagle systems to the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the last few years as a part of a $174 million program. The program received much criticism as it failed to achieve its main goals.
The NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the ANA have not commented on the incident in Samangan, thus far.
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