With a range of 1,150 miles, and the ability to fly at altitudes of 50,000 feet (higher than civilian commercial Airplanes), the MQ-9 Reaper system is an “armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance” remotely piloted aircraft designed primarily for offensive strikes.
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,”
At 4,900-pounds per unit, the drone can also conduct surveillance, assist in search and rescue missions, and allow US forces to “conduct irregular warfare operations.”
With near absolute silence during flight, Its’ a significant acknowledgment of the rapidly evolving, and expanding, role of Remotely Piloted Aircraft by the US Air Force during military operations, and when at War.
The MQ-9 Reaper drone, which became operational in 2007, has a wingspan of 66 feet, and a cruising speed of roughly 230 mph.
It’s operated remotely by a pilot, and a sensor operator, from afar, and costs $64.2 million per unit, which includes four aircrafts. – (New York Post). – Hope For Nigeria.
Source & Quotes from:
Aircraft Official Fact sheet
US Air Force
New York Post.