What is a Reaper drone? Here’s what to know about the U.S. military’s MQ-9 drones.

gave MQ-9 Reaper drone It is a remotely piloted aircraft used by the US military overseas that has been adapted for other purposes within US borders. The U.S. Air Force describes the Reaper primarily as an “intelligence-gathering asset,” but it can also be armed with Hellfire missiles.

“It provides a unique capability for strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, time-sensitive, and time-sensitive targets,” the Air Force said. It says on its website.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone with U.S. Customs and Border Protection is seen at Fort Huachuca, Arizona on Nov. 4, 2022.
An MQ-9 Reaper drone with U.S. Customs and Border Protection is seen at Fort Huachuca, Arizona on Nov. 4, 2022.

John Moore/Getty Images

A rapper called the Pentagon an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission over the Black Sea in southeastern Europe on March 14, 2023, when the United States said a Russian fighter jet Crashed into itforcing the officials to drop it into the water.

The incident escalated tensions between the two nuclear powers during Moscow’s year-long war. The war against Ukraine.

While Russia said that it will happen. Try to restore US officials dismissed concerns over debris found in the Black Sea.

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the drone likely exploded in the crash and was 4,000 to 5,000 feet underwater. He also said that the US has taken mitigation measures to prevent the loss of any sensitive intelligence.

“We’re pretty sure that whatever was valuable is no longer valuable,” Milley said.

How big is the Reaper drone?

With a wingspan of 66 feet, the 36-foot-tall Reapers can reach altitudes of 50,000 feet and have a range of 1,150 miles.

According to the Air Force, a Reaper drone can carry eight laser-guided Hellfire missiles.

The drone is operated remotely with a core crew of a pilot to control the drone and a crew member to operate the sensors and guide the weapons.

The wrappers are manufactured by Southern California-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. According to the companydrones can stay in the air for more than 27 hours, and an extended-range version with a “wingburn” fuel pod can operate for up to 34 hours without refueling.

But they are not cheap. In 2020, the Air Force reported that the new wrappers cost about $32 million. According to Forbes.

Where are Reaper drones used?

Reaper drones have been used to carry out US military strikes, including the deadliest 2020 strike. Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, and against the Taliban in 2021 as the militants regained control of Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of US forces.

Drones are not only used by the military. US Customs and Border Protection Agency has said It has used General Atomics’ Predator B drones – an unarmed version of the Reaper – to monitor and respond to “threats across the country’s borders and into the United States.”

In 2017, the Air Force noted how drones have helped firefighters fight fires since 2013. Rum fire In California

“We were able to fly at night with our infrared cameras,” Maj. Jason Flowers told CBS News at the time. “We could even see through the smoke, which allowed us to give them instant information so they could plan more effectively.”

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