Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reapers Operational in Iraq

From the Air Force Association’s Daily Report:

Reapers Enter Ops in Iraq: The Air Force's newest unmanned aerial vehicle, the MQ-9 Reaper, on July 21 started operating in Iraq, offering increased weapons capability, longer dwell time, and larger intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance payload than its smaller brother the much-in-demand MQ-1 Predator. USAF sent the Reaper first to Afghanistan, where, since last fall, it has flown some 480 sorties for more than 3,800 hours, according to a July 22 release. It dropped its first precision guided munition for Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2007. Lt. Gen. Gary North, who leads the Combined Force Air Component for US Central Command, said that Predator has proved the value of "persistent stare" for gathering intel, but the Reaper close air support asset "expands beyond the concept of persistent stare to one of persistent strike." The MQ-9 provides the capability to react with precision weapons "at the exact point where the ground commander wants the desired effect," stated North and added, "It's an incredibly powerful and flexible capability."

And here’s the aircraft itself:

I haven't seen one of these yet, and I'm not sure I will anytime soon. Although the Reaper looks like an overgrown Predator, they're two different animals. We'll have Predators at Cannon, but I don't think we'll get Reapers. OTOH, I really don't know, Gentle Reader... I'm just speculating.

Back in a bit…


  1. Who says the Air Force is not doing a good job?!

    Yesterday GBN1 saw a military helicopter fly over. She hollered, "We need to help them! We're coming!" I had to wonder about her imgagination. She also got excited when she saw a trainer jet from Sheppard fly over - now that comes from her Aunt Jes.

  2. Lou sez: Who says the Air Force is not doing a good job?!

    That mindset is ALL over the media; I've remarked on it in a few past posts and cited some examples. The unfortunate thing is the AF really IS shooting itself in the foot occasionally... a lot more than "occasionally," these days. That hurts me, and I'm NOT being sarcastic or flip.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.