Anytime you can combine stealth and standoff and loiter and lethality in the same platform, you've got a significant winner. Kudos to the MQ-9 Reaper. Looking like a big brother` to the MQ-1 Predator, the MQ-9 has three times the speed of the MQ-1, with a 900hp turboprop engine in place of the Predators 119hp Rotax 914. Nice job, Zoomies!
Reaper scores insurgent kill in AfghanistanAir Force Times Staff reportPosted : Monday Oct 29, 2007 18:59:06 EDTThe Air Forces use of remote-controlled aircraft passed another milestone Saturday with the first air strike flown by an MQ-9 Reaper, the services newest unmanned plane.According to Central Air Forces, an MQ-9 fired a Hellfire missile at Afghanistan insurgents in the Deh Rawood region of the mountainous Oruzgan province. The strike was successful, CentAF said.Based at Kandahar Air Field, Reapers have been flying over Afghanistan since Sept. 25. Like the smaller MQ-1 Predator, pilots and sensor operators in Nevada use satellite links to guide the planes on attack and reconnaissance sorties. A second set of deployed aviators control the planes take offs and landings.The Reaper can carry up to 3,000 pounds of weapons while the MQ-1 is limited to 500 pounds of munitions.--Pinch Paisley