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La Jolla’s Blue brothers aren’t the only locals in the business of making unmanned aerial vehicles. In fact, San Diego is such a hotbed of UAV development that last week it hosted the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s “Unmanned Systems North America 2008” conference. And one visiting journalist pulled a bit of the curtain from the traditionally stealthy business of automated war making. “Taking a pre-AUVSI-show tour through Northrop Grumman’s UAV lab in Rancho Bernardo, California, we come across what looks like a stealthy cruise missile with ‘Allah is Great’ stenciled on the nose. Wait, what?” wrote Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman. “It’s actually a Model 324 Scarab reconnaissance UAV, a unique truck-mobile, jet-powered system that Teledyne Ryan designed back in the 1980s for Egypt, which still uses them and periodically returns them to California for maintenance and upgrades.”

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