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PREDATOR MQ-9 REAPER


PREDATOR MQ-9 REAPER
The aerial assassin Explore the pilotless vehicle which can soar across enemy lines and take out a target with deadly accuracy.

This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has proved to be one of the most important military systems in recent years. Having no pilot to worry about, the MQ-9 makes efficient use of the conventional airframe to pack a huge array of sensors, weapons and fuel into a relatively small aircraft. Driven by a 708-kilowatt (950-horsepower) turboprop engine, electrical power is generated to run the on-board sensor and communication array, as well as the electrically actuated flight control surfaces, which are doubled up for redundancy. The UAV can function almost wholly autonomously, with an effective autopilot and auto-land capability, but due to the weapons on board, it’s never allowed to attack a target itself. Using a secure satellite communications system thousands of kilometres away, human operators take control – in a similar way to flying a model aircraft – and command the Reaper to deploy its missiles. The Reaper, formerly known as the Predator B, is made by General Atomics and has a top airspeed of 240 knots (444km/h; 276mph).

PREDATOR MQ-9 REAPER