first published on September 21, 2018 by Will
An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial recon/attack vehicle has just scored its first air-to-air kill in an Air Force test exercise according to Military.com.
The Reaper reportedly used a heat-seeking missile to successfully engage and destroy a flying target drone in what is being called a “first-of-its-kind kill.”
This newly-developed ability further expands the American portfolio of air superiority. The defense industry is in a constant race to stay ahead of our competitors’ ever-evolving aviation technology as Russia and China demonstrate their desire to become global powers.
The MQ-9 has all but phased out its predecessor, the MQ-1 Predator, which was officially retired earlier this year. The Reaper conducted 950 strikes, firing approximately 1,500 weapons, between January 2015 and August 2017, compared to the Predator only carrying out 35 strikes in the same time frame.
The MQ-9 is larger, with the ability to carry a much larger munitions payload as well as a larger and more efficient fuel system that allows it to stay on station longer.