Ukraine requests US to acquire MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
According to information published by the press agency Forbes on April 13, 2022, Ukraine has requested the purchase of American-made MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) manufactured by the California-based company General Atomics.
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An MQ-9 Reaper assigned to the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing takes off from the Flightline at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., on September 1, 2021. (Picture source US Air Force)
The MQ-9 Reaper also nicknamed Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed and manufactured by the American company General Atomics. It was primarily developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). The drone is capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations.
The MQ-9 Reaper is in service with NATO countries including France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The sale of the drones must be approved by the United States Department of Defense before any delivery.
Citing General Atomics, MQ-9 Reaper UAVs are available for international sales and we can quickly transfer our drones according to the requirements of our customers. General Atomics is able to deliver the drones in less than 30 days and provides training at the same time.
The MQ-9 Reaper is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.
The MQ-9 Reaper has a length of 8.2m and a wingspan of 14.9 m. It can be operated at an altitude of 7,620 m and at a range of 740 km. It has an endurance of more than 40 hours, while the cruise speed is more than 129 km/h.
The MQ-9 Reaper can be armed and incorporates a laser rangefinder/designator, which precisely designates targets for the employment of laser-guided munitions, such as the Guided Bomb Unit-12 Paveway II. The Reaper is also equipped with synthetic aperture radar. The MQ-9 can also employ up to eight laser-guided missiles, Air-to-Ground Missile-114 Hellfire, which possesses highly accurate, low-collateral damage, anti-armor, and anti-personnel engagement capabilities.