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RQ-3 Dark Star

The RQ-3 Dark Star unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was operated by the US Air Force. Its first flight was in 1996, and the program was cancelled in 1999.

The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance; "Q" means unmanned aircraft system. The "3" refers to it being the third of a series of purpose-built unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems. See also RQ-1 Predator, RQ-2 Pioneer, RQ-4 Global Hawk, RQ-5 Hunter, RQ-6 Outrider, and RQ-7 Shadow.

General Characteristics

  • Primary Function: Reconnaissance
  • Contractor: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, Palmdale CA
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