General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

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General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

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The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (originally the Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the CIA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force. The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the U.S. Air Force to indicate their human ground controllers. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.

The MQ-9 is a larger and more capable aircraft than the earlier MQ-1 Predator (other than loiter time), and it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712&nbsp;kW) turboprop engine, far more powerful than the Predator's piston engine. The increase in power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance and cruise at three times the speed of the MQ-1. Although the MQ-9 can fly pre-programmed routes autonomously, the aircraft is always monitored or controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control...
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