Combat drones have become a legend of this war, and you can watch videos where he destroys enemy equipment and manpower for hours. But recently, the Armed Forces of Ukraine has a new hero, which was quickly learned and admired by millions of Ukrainians – MQ-9 Reaper.
Features of MQ-9 Reaper
This drone can fly from Kiev to Moscow and back. It is 200 kilometers per hour faster than Bayraktar and flies at altitudes of up to 15 kilometers.
How much is MQ-9 Reaper
At Bayraktar’s price of up to $ 2 million, the price of this “bird of prey” starts at $ 32 million. The MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance drone is considered the most powerful combat drone in the world.
This drone was developed in 2001 by General Atomics for the US Air Force. American commandos needed weapons that could operate autonomously, and this reduced the number of troops on the front line. The main thing is to launch a drone, but you can control it from anywhere on the planet.
All thanks to satellite channels. That is why the signal with the drone cannot be interrupted or interrupted by electronic warfare systems. If this bird has already gone hunting, it will definitely return with its prey.
The size and characteristics of this predator are simply amazing. In fact, it is an airplane.
Wingspan: 20.1 meters
Length: 11 meters
Height: 3.8 meters
Weight: 2,223 kilograms
Load capacity: 1,700 kilograms
Ceiling: 15 kilometers
Flight range: 1850 kilometers
Speed: 400 kilometers per hour
Autonomy: up to 27 hours
Controlling this drone is not easy. Requires 2 people. The pilot who remotely controls the drone and commands the mission, and the second member of the crew responsible for surveillance and guidance of weapons.
There is no shortage of modern computer systems in this drone. Its accuracy provides unique opportunities to strike at important static and moving targets.
This drone is assisted by a multispectral aiming system, sensors, sensors and a color camera. In addition, there are laser rangefinders that accurately determine the distance to the target.
What missions can he perform
All this together allows Reaper not only to throw guided bombs, but also to launch surgically accurate AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
Kasem Suleimani was a general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Commander of the Special Forces. Reaper fired only one Hellfire missile from a bird’s eye view and there was absolutely nothing left of the general. Only the frame of his armored car.
For several months after the attack, Islamic State intelligence services could not understand exactly how Suleimani died. After all, Reaper is virtually invisible to radars and air defense systems.
In general, the Americans are trying to keep information about the combat sorties of this drone secret. And not in vain. However, today it is the most powerful drone in the world, which really has no analogues.
In fact, it is a multi-purpose aircraft that can perform many missions:
and, as practice in Iraq has shown, special missions.
However, keep in mind that this drone cannot operate completely autonomously. The success of the mission depends primarily on the crew, which must become one with this bird.
Shots are fired in the same way as from a fighter or a bomber: the drone must be aimed at the right angle a few kilometers from the target. It takes an average of 30 seconds from the launch of the projectile to hit the target. It all depends on the distance.
The Ukrainian Bayraktars, which have a range of 150 kilometers, helped the Armed Forces to turn the tide of the battle in their favor. Columns of equipment were set on fire, boats were sunk and enemy positions were destroyed. It’s hard to even imagine the capabilities of the American Reaper, given their combat capability, range and other characteristics.
Today MQ-9 is armed with the most powerful armies on the planet:
We hope that Ukraine will be added to this list.