RQ-5 HunterThe RQ-2 Pioneer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was originally intended to serve as the United States Army's Short Range UAV system for division and corps commanders. It took off and landed (using arresting gear) on runways. It used a gimbaled EO/IR sensor to relay its video in real time via a second airborne Hunter over a C-band line-of-sight data link.
Hunter deployed in 1999 to Kosovo to support NATO operations. Although production was cancelled in 1996, seven low rate initial production (LRIP) systems of eight aircraft each were acquired, four of which remained in service: one for training and three for doctrine development and exercise and contingency support. Hunter was to be replaced by the RQ-7 Shadow.
The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance; "Q" means unmanned aircraft system. The "5" refers to it being the fifth of a series of purpose-built unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.