Predator UAV is controlled miles away from dangerous combat.  See more military jets pictures.

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Military commanders use tactics and strategy in combat to inflict as much damage on the enemy while trying to risk as few personnel and resources as possible. This principle was at the heart of the development of the RQ-1 and MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

These high-tech aircraft, controlled by a crew miles away from the dangers of combat, are capable of reconnaissance, combat and support roles in the hairiest of battles. In a worst-case scenario, if a Predator is lost in battle, military personal can simply "crack another one out of the box" and have it up in the air shortly -- and that's without the trauma of casualties or prisoners normally associated with an aircraft going down.

In this article, we will look at the Predator UAV's flight system, sensors, weapons and crew, and how the military is using Predators to keep personnel safer both in the air and on land.