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RQ-1 / MQ-1B Predator / MQ-9 Reaper UAV

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Ayoshi:
From Military.com

MQ-1B Predator

--- Quote ---The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that 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 (SCAR) against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.

Predators can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance. The MQ-1's capabilities make it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.

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The Predator system was designed in response to a Department of Defense requirement to provide to the warfighter persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information combined with a kill capability.

In April 1996, the secretary of defense selected the U.S. Air Force as the operating service for the RQ-1 Predator system. The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance aircraft. The "M" is the DOD designation for multi-role, and "Q" means remotely piloted aircraft system. The "1" refers to the aircraft being the first of the series of remotely piloted aircraft systems.

A change in designation from "RQ-1" to "MQ-1" occurred in 2002 with the addition of the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, enabling reaction against intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, close air support, and interdiction targets.
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MQ-9 Reaper

--- Quote ---The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike unmanned aerial vehicle for the U.S. Air Force. 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.

Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-laser, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance.

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The MQ-9 baseline system carries the Multi-Spectral Targeting System, which has a robust suite of visual sensors for targeting. The MTS-B integrates an infrared sensor, color/monochrome daylight TV camera, image-intensified TV camera, laser designator, and laser illuminator. The full-motion video from each of the imaging sensors can be viewed as separate video streams or fused.

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The U.S. Air Force proposed the MQ-9 Reaper system in response to the Department of Defense directive to support initiatives of overseas contingency operations. It is larger and more powerful than the MQ-1 Predator, and is designed to execute time-sensitive targets with persistence and precision, and destroy or disable those targets. The "M" is the DOD designation for multi-role, and "Q" means remotely piloted aircraft system. The "9" indicates it is the ninth in the series of remotely piloted aircraft systems.
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Ayoshi:
State Department OKs Spain Buying MQ-9 Reaper Drones | defense news - October 6, 2015

--- Quote ---The sale, which covers four MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support, would be worth an estimated $243 million.

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Spain intends to use the drones purely for ISR, so the vehicles will not be armed.

In addition to the systems themselves, the sale would include 20 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance United (three per aircraft plus eight spares); two Mobile Ground Control Stations; five multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (one per aircraft plus one spare); and five Synthetic Aperture Radar, Lynx AN/APY-8 (also one per aircraft plus a spare).
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Britain given go-ahead to spend $1 BILLION on buying American Predator drones | thesun.co.uk - 17th November 2016

--- Quote ---Britain has requested 26 Predator B unmanned aerial vehicles, which are manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, the statement said.

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The State Department said the drones will be used by the “UK’s armed forces and coalition forces engaged in current and future peacekeeping, peace-enforcing, counter-insurgent, and counter-terrorism operations”.
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Ayoshi:
GA lands a $56 mn contract for Spain MQ-9 Reaper Procurement program | air recognition - 05 January 2017

--- Quote ---Spain announced its intention to purchase four MQ-9 Block 5 UAVs in Oct. 2015, for an cost of $243 million.

In Feb. 2016, GA-ASI announced the four Block 5 Reaper UAVs will be equipped with MTS-B Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensors and GA-ASI's Block 20A Lynx Multi-mode Radar.
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Ayoshi:
France receives second MQ-9 Reaper drone system, orders fourth one | air recognition - 10 January 2017

--- Quote ---The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) ordered on Dec. 5, 2016, a fourth MQ-9 Reaper MALE remotely piloted aircraft system. According to the country’s military planning law for 2014-2019, the French Air Force will have four complete systems by 2019, each comprising three Reaper platforms, DGA announced today in an official statement.

Ordering this fourth system thus allows Paris to meet its target. Delivery of the system will take place in 2019, DGA added. A $17mn contract awarded to General Atomics on Dec. 11, 2016, the third and fourth systems ordered by France will adopt a new enhanced Block 5 configuration.
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Two MQ-9 Reapers deployed in Mali by the French Air Force
(Credit: armée de l'Air)

Ayoshi:
USAF comments transition from MQ-1 Predator to MQ-9 Reaper UAV | Air Recognition - 27 February 2017

--- Quote ---For the past 21 years, the US Air Force has flown the MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft in combat, and for the last 10, the MQ-9 Reaper. Combined with a skilled aircrew, these aircraft provide consistent support in daily engagements making an impact downrange.

While the MQ-1 has provided many years of service, the time has come for the Air Force to fly the more capable MQ-9 exclusively, and retire the MQ-1 in early 2018 to keep up with the continuously evolving battlespace environment.

The MQ-9 is better equipped than the MQ-1 due to its increased speed, high-definition sensors and the ability to carry more munitions. These combat attributes allow the MQ-9 to complete a wider array of mission sets, which can help the Air Force stay prepared in the fight.
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An MQ-1 Predator and an MQ-9 Reaper assigned to the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron remain ready for their next mission at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. (Credit: USAF/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

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