Two of the Air Force's largest remotely piloted aircraft hit a flight hour milestone this month, clocking 4 million hours. The MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones, used for a range of missions, offer 24-hour mission support. The Predator, which entered the Air Force in 1996, retired in 2018; the Reaper entered service in 2007 and is still flying. Missions for the drones include persistent attack and reconnaissance; search and rescue and strike and support to civil authority missions in support of multiple combatant commands, according to an Air Force release. Officials said the drones have changed the face of warfare since they entered service.
The MQ-1 and MQ-9 hit the 2 million hour mark in 2012, the 3 million-hour mark in 2016 and the 4 million-hour mark in March of 2019. Separately, the MQ-9 itself is expected to hit the 2 million-hour mark this summer. Read more at AF.mil.