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• MQ-1C Gray Eagle

This is the aircraft people think of when they think of U.S. military drones. It was formerly called "Warrior" and is similar to the Air Force's Reaper. It can carry missiles or bombs, conduct surveillance and reconnaissance and serve as a communications relay. Gray Eagle can also fly in tandem with Apache helicopters, locating the targets for the helicopter to attack.

Contractor: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

Per unit cost: $5.3 million

Dimensions: 28 feet long, 56 foot wingspan

Maximum Altitude: 29,000 feet

Maximum airspeed: 192 mph

Maximum flight time: 25 hours

Source: Tribune reporting,

• RQ-11B Raven

Solider launch this vehicle by — literally — throwing it into the air like a quarterback hurling a football. Then the Raven propels itself. It provides video in real-time to provide for surveillance or reconnaissance. Range is limited to about 7½ miles.

Contractor: AeroVironment

Per unit cost: $300,000

Dimensions: 3 feet long, 4.5 foot wingspan

Maximum Altitude: 500 feet

Maximum airspeed: 30 to 60 mph

Maximum flight time: 90 minutes

• RQ-7 Shadow

The Shadow has become the workhorse of the Army's weaponless drones, logging more than 1 million flight hours, most of which came in Iraq and Afghanistan. A catapult launches it. To land, the Shadow slows and flies into an erect net. Like the Gray Eagle, it can fly in tandem with Apache helicopters to identify targets.

Contractor: AAI Corp.

Per unit cost: $750,000

Dimensions: 11.6 feet long, 12.8 foot wingspan

Maximum Altitude: 500 feet

Maximum airspeed: 129 mph

Maximum flight time: 5 hours

• MQ-5B Hunter

The Hunter is the oldest unmanned aircraft in the fleet — in service since 1996. Besides offering reconnaissance, many Hunters are equipped with lasers to guide bombs or missiles fired by other aircraft or weapons systems. The Hunter made news in March when Russian media reported one had been captured in Crimea. The Pentagon denied any Hunter aircraft were downed.

Contractor: Northrop Grumman

Per unit cost: $750,000

Dimensions: 23 feet long, 34.2 foot wingspan

Maximum Altitude: 22,000 feet

Maximum airspeed: 126 mph

Maximum flight time: 15 hours

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