the drone “Reaper MQ-9” It is combat-capable, but it was designed for extended surveillance duties. This is the device that the US had to shoot down this Tuesday over the Black Sea after a Russian fighter hit it, causing it to lose control.
The “Reaper MQ-9”, also known as “Predator B”, It looks like an airplane It can reach a maximum speed of 480 kilometers per hour, measures 11 meters and weighs about 2,200 kilograms, according to the United States Air Force website.
It was designed by the General Atomics company and came into operation in 2007, becoming one of the first drones with the ability to engage in combat and, in addition, could carry out surveillance work for a long time and at high altitudes.
This model, which has been upgraded several times, currently has the ability to fly for 30 hours when carrying out surveillance duties, although that time is reduced to 23 hours when loaded with weapons, which increases fuel consumption.
The “Reaper MQ-9” is designed to carry up to eight air-to-surface missiles “AGM-114 Hellfire”intended to destroy tanks, planes and helicopters, details the US Air Force on its website.
Depending on the mission to be carried out, the drone can also incorporate a particularly accurate synthetic aperture radar and different types of cameras to record videos: from monochrome daytime cameras to engrave in color up to shortwave infrared cameras.
These drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), that is, they do not carry a crew but are remotely controlled by a pilot.
Apart from the incident that occurred in the Black Sea, the “Reaper MQ-9” gained fame in recent months for the war in Ukraine.
Specifically, the General Atomics company, manufacturer of these devices, wanted to show solidarity with Ukraine and offered these drones for just one dollar, despite the fact that manufacturing them costs more than 56 million dollars, as reported in February. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
It was the drone used during the operation that ended with the death of Qassem Soleimani, the most powerful military of the Iranian regime. And although the US did not give details about its nature, numerous outlets identified it as the MQ-9 Reaperthe main unmanned aircraft used by the Armed Forces for operations of this nature.
Pentagon sources neither confirmed nor denied the agency efe that the drone was the model of unmanned aircraft used to kill Soleimani and the number two Iraqi Shiite militia at dawn on Friday (local time), Abu Mahdi al Muhandis on a road near the airport in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. He did make it clear that Donald Trump was the one who ordered the operation and that it was successful.
With information from EFE
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