US Air Force intends to replace MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper drone

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US Air Force intends to replace MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper drone

Air force US thinking about the replacement of the standing armed reconnaissance and strike drone MQ-9 Reaper due to their ability to overcome the modern air defense system. A replacement will be considered various options for drones, including commercials. Writes about this edition of Defense News.

The command of the U.S. air force is considering the question of removal from service MQ-9 Reaper due to their vulnerability to modern air defense systems. The drone, which is more than 20 years, the main drone of the U.S. air force in the Middle East, will be replaced by a cheaper machine.

Reaper was a great platform for us. Four million flying hours, just a distinct advantage when hitting ground targets. However, it is not suited for operation in the conditions of the modern air defense system. They can easily go astray

– said the assistant Secretary of the U.S. air force procurement, technology and logistics will Roper, adding that the U.S. air force is considering the replacement of MQ-9 Reaper more cheap reusable drones that “afford to lose”.

Note that the first flight of the UAV MQ-9 Reaper took place on 2 February 2001. The drone is equipped with a turboprop engine. According to General Atomics, the Reaper, which became the main shock of the UAV in the USA, has an endurance of more than 27 hours, the maximum speed of 400 km/h and cruising up to 250 km/h, the ceiling of 15 km and a lifting capacity 1740 kg with 6 suspension points.

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MQ-9 is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple-redundant architecture avionics systems. Capable of carrying Hellfire missiles with homing and guided bombs GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb and GBU-38 satellite-guided.

Reconnaissance and combat UAV MQ-9 are in service with the air force and the CIA, and the Italian air force, Turkey, UAE, Kazakhstan, France, UK, and other countries.