The medium altitude endurance unmanned air vehicle (MAE UAV) program (formerly the tactical endurance TE UAV) is a new effort initiated by the Department of Defense to develop a ground launched UAV that can fly out 500 miles, remain on station for 24 hours, and return. It will transmit high resolution optical, infrared, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of well-defended target areas through satellite links. It will provide near-real-time, releasable, low cost/low risk surveillance, targeting and damage assessment complementary to that of satellites and manned aircraft. The paper describes specific objectives of the MAE UAV program (deliverables and schedule) and the program's unique position as one of several programs to streamline the acquisition process under the cognizance of the newly established Airborne Reconnaissance Office. I discuss the system requirements and operational concept and describe the technical capabilities and characteristics of the major subsystems (airframe, propulsion, navigation, sensors, communication links, ground station, etc.) in some detail.