The MQ9 Reaper, a hunter-killer UAV
the reaper is the latest generation of unmanned aerial drones we're using to wreak destruction across vast stretches of afghanistan and pakistan and is undoubtedly one of the reasons pakistan has decided to block the nato supply route over the khyber pass in retaliation for u.s. attacks on pakistani soil...
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (originally the Predator B) is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, 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, although it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine, far more powerful than the Predator's 115 hp (86 kW) 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 Station (GCS) and weapons employment is always commanded by the pilot.
i just received an email from a friend who camped across from me last summer announcing that he is now fully-qualified on the reaper and will begin operational missions tonight... i enjoyed getting to know him and his family despite the vast chasm between his liberal-hating, hard-ass, neo-con mindset and mine... he provides me with occasional updates and a window into a world that i wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see... Submit To Propeller