MQ-9 Reaper Drone: Primary Mission, Specification, and Capabilities

MQ-9 Reaper Drone: Primary Mission, Specification, and Capabilities

The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike unmanned aerial vehicle for the U.S. Air Force. 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.

Manufacturer: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Service: USAF. Armament: Combination of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38 JDAM. Propulsion: Honeywell TPE331-10GD turboprop engine. Speed: 230 mph. Range: 1,150 miles. Crew: Two (pilot and sensor operator).

Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-laser, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance.

The Reaper is part of a remotely piloted aircraft system. A fully operational system consists of several sensor/weapon-equipped aircraft, ground control station, Predator Primary Satellite Link, and spare equipment along with operations and maintenance crews for deployed 24-hour missions.

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