$17 million dollar state-of-the-art USAF MQ-9 REAPER DRONE (UAV) is READY FOR ACTION!

$17 million dollar state-of-the-art USAF MQ-9 REAPER DRONE (UAV) is READY FOR ACTION!

$17 million dollar state-of-the-art USAF MQ-9 Reaper drone (UAV) is READY FOR ACTION!

Reapers, sometimes called Predator B, are unmanned aerial vehicles capable of autonomous or remotely controlled flight.

Official USAF release: The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons — it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.

Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy/raid over-watch, target development, and terminal air guidance. The MQ-9’s capabilities make it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.

General characteristics:

Primary function: find, fix, and finish targets
Contractor: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Power plant: Honeywell TPE331-10GD turboprop engine
Thrust: 900 shaft horsepower maximum
Wingspan: 66 feet (20.1 meters)
Length: 36 feet (11 meters)
Height: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Weight: 4,900 pounds (2,223 kilograms) empty
Maximum takeoff weight: 10,500 pounds (4,760 kilograms)
Fuel capacity: 4,000 pounds (602 gallons)
Payload: 3,750 pounds (1,701 kilograms)
Speed: cruise speed around 230 mph (200 knots)
Range: 1,150 miles (1,000 nautical miles)
Ceiling: Up to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
Armament: combination of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions
Crew (remote): two (pilot and sensor operator)
Unit cost: $64.2 million (includes four aircraft, sensors, GCSs, and Comm.) (fiscal 2006 dollars)
Initial operating capability: October 2007
Inventory: total force, 93

Credit: SSgt. John McRell, United States Air Force.

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