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General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAV fully operational in Poland.

| 2019

The US Air Force achieved full operational capability external link of the the MQ-9 Reaper at Miroslawiec Air Base in Poland. The General Atomics-developed remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) have been operating out of Poland since May.

General Atomics MQ 9 Reaper UAV fully operational in Poland
An MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, piloted by Col. Lex Turner flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan (U.S. Air Force Photo / Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt)

The MQ-9 Reaper (previously Predator B) is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft system (UAS), capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force. France, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium are recent buyers as well. The Reaper is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than its predecessor, the MQ-1 Predator. It is planned to remain in service into the 2030s.

The MQ-9's primary mission is as a persistent hunter-killer against emerging targets in support of joint force commander objectives. The MQ-9's secondary mission is to act as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset, employing sensors to provide real-time data to commanders and intelligence specialists at all levels.

Air Forces in Europe christened a new set of facilities at Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland on March 1 to help accommodate the Air National Guardsmen and contractors operating Reapers there. The Air Force chose Poland for the mission because of its strategic location in Europe. RPA aircraft are now operated by both contractors and US military personnel. The US military now shares control of the Reapers at Miroslawiec during takeoff, flight and aircraft recovery with the contractors.


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