Saturday, June 26, 2010

Meet The New MQ-9 Drone, King of The Skys

The MQ-9 Reaper, a preditor derivatve, sports some new hardware. Two 500 pound Guided Bombs(GBU), and 4 Hellfires makes for a formidable package. They are testing versions with two air to air AIM-92 Singers. Little by little the capability has gone up, with the payload expanded to about 3,000 pounds. Below shows two 500 pound GBUs and 4 Hellfires loaded on hard points ready for action.

Ready for terrorist hunting.

The homeland security version:

The test drone they had crashed and was unusable upon recovery. During it's time of active duty in 2005, its operational period, the aircraft flew 959 hours on patrol and had a part in 2,309 arrests. It also contributed to the seizure of four vehicles and 8,267 pounds of marijuana.

There are now 6 drones in use by Homeland Security inventory, doing border patrols.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has six operational MQ-9s. One based in North Dakota, at the UAS Operations Center in Grand Forks, four in Arizona, at the UAS Operations Center in Sierra Vista and one based at Fort Drum, N.Y. The aircraft are equipped with GA-ASI's Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (Lynx SAR info/web page) and Raytheon's MTS-B ElectroOptical/Infrared sensors

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