US Air Force intends to replace MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper drone

US Air Force intends to replace MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper drone

The U.S. Air Force is considering replacing the MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance-strike drones in service because of their inability to overcome modern air defense systems. As a replacement will be considered various options for drones, including commercial ones. About this writes the publication Defense News.


The U.S. Air Force Command is considering withdrawing from service the MQ-9 Reaper due to their vulnerability to modern air defense systems. The drone, which has been the main drone of the US Air Force in the Middle East for more than 20 years, is planned to be replaced with a cheaper device.

The reaper was a great platform for us. Four million flight hours, simply undeniable superiority when hitting ground targets. However, it is not adapted for operation in a modern air defense system. They easily go astray

said Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of State for Procurement, Technology and Logistics, adding that the US Air Force is considering replacing the MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper reusable drones that are "not a pity to lose."

Note that the first flight of the drone MQ-9 Reaper took place on February 2, 2001. The drone is equipped with a turboprop engine. According to General Atomics, the Reaper, which has become the main strike UAV in the United States, has a flight duration of more than 27 hours, a maximum speed of up to 400 km / h and a cruising speed of up to 250 km / h, a ceiling of up to 15 km and a carrying capacity of 1740 kg with 6 suspension points.

The MQ-9 is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundancy of the avionics system architecture. Able to carry Hellfire missiles with GOS and GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs, as well as GBU-38 satellite-guided bombs.

Intelligence and combat UAV MQ-9 are in service with the Air Force and the CIA, as well as the Air Force of Italy, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, France, the United Kingdom and other countries.
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  1. rocket757 17 March 2020 10: 24 New
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    All the same EXPENSIVE! Ai, ai, ai, sho winked then? For the sake of dermocracy all over the world nothing should be sorry !!!
    Okay, jokes of humor aside ... in principle, a completely rational approach, in view of many, many crises and many where ... they have an inc.
    1. Sky strike fighter 17 March 2020 10: 35 New
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      All the same EXPENSIVE! Ai, ai, ai, sho winked then?

      Such times have come to save.
      On March 15, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero by launching a massive $ 700 billion quantitative easing program to protect the economy from the effects of coronavirus, CNBC reported.
      Globally, competitive devaluation has begun - a situation in which countries compete with each other to achieve a low exchange rate for their national currency in order to increase export volumes and help domestic industry.
    2. g1washntwn 17 March 2020 10: 54 New
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      Rationality is likely to reduce the Raptor’s chance of successfully completing a task, and not so much the cost of its implementation. In addition, the range of such tasks is not too large due to long-voiced limitations.
      3D printer + AI elements + role distribution in the pack and get a cheaper solution for these specific tasks. In principle, RCCs have proven the effectiveness of this approach a long time ago, it remains only to "finalize with a file." Flocking concept on the rise.
      1. Sky strike fighter 17 March 2020 11: 09 New
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        I think that the future is somewhere between a cheap kamikaze drones and RCC / KR. Such a massive and inexpensive hybrid that can be massively used as a swarm of drones.
  2. Sky strike fighter 17 March 2020 10: 28 New
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    However, it is not adapted for operation in a modern air defense system. They easily go astray

    Just like Anka-S and Bayraktar were knocked down in Syria. The main thing is to have this air defense system, but not at the beginning of the SAA attack without air defense cover, which the Turks used until they pulled Buki and Armor to Idlib and the dronopad started.
    1. universe1 17 March 2020 10: 49 New
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      Any air defense system can be oversaturated with goals, and it would be better if these goals were cheap. A cloud of cheap kamikaze drones will cope with any air defense system, and after that more serious UAVs will come into play. Here, of course, they will talk about electronic warfare, but when the electronic warfare is working, its own air defense system will not be able to work.
      1. SVD68 17 March 2020 11: 03 New
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        Quote: universe1
        Any air defense system can be oversaturated with goals, and it would be better if these goals were cheap. A cloud of cheap kamikaze drones will cope with any air defense system, and after that more serious UAVs will come into play.

        It’s still impossible to make a drone cheaper than a couple of dozen shots from an automatic gun.
        1. voyaka uh 17 March 2020 11: 14 New
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          The guns do not reach the heights from which the drones attack.
          1. SVD68 17 March 2020 12: 24 New
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            Quote: voyaka uh
            The guns do not reach the heights from which the drones attack.

            Cheap high altitude drones?
        2. universe1 17 March 2020 11: 49 New
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          SVD68, you confuse the warm with the soft. What are the guns here for?
          1. SVD68 17 March 2020 12: 26 New
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            Quote: universe1
            SVD68, you confuse the warm with the soft. What are the guns here for?

            Moreover, cheap drones cannot be either high-altitude or high-speed.
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. voyaka uh 17 March 2020 11: 19 New
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      The Turks did not introduce kamikaze drones and planning bombs into the Air Force - proven means against air defense.
      These pieces are equipped with an electronic warfare unit as part of the GOS and confuse the radars of the complexes. It is easier for the carapace to shoot down a target flying over it than a target attacking itself and disorienting its radar.
      1. universe1 17 March 2020 11: 48 New
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        So this introduction is a matter of time.
      2. Oquzyurd 17 March 2020 13: 40 New
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        "These pieces are equipped with an electronic warfare unit as part of the GOS and confuse the radars of the complexes." This was the X factor in Idlib. No matter how much they talk about drone attack, a tiny amount was shot down, compared with the damage to the Syrians from UAVs, given that all this took place within 3-4 days ..
  3. Zabvo 17 March 2020 10: 31 New
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    And what about the drone UAV ...? request
    1. novel66 17 March 2020 10: 42 New
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      no longer needed, like an aircraft carrier - the United States is refusing
    2. PSih2097 17 March 2020 10: 45 New
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      Quote: ZABVO
      And what about the drone UAV ...? request

      on the tests "Altius", "Orion" and "Hunter".
    3. Sky strike fighter 17 March 2020 10: 49 New
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      Quote: ZABVO
      And what about the drone UAV ...? request

      Work is underway. A lot of effort is being made to complete the development of impact drones.
      Heavy Altius-U, Orion drones and the S-70 Okhotnik jet drone are being tested.

      From this set, the last three cars are capable of carrying weapons. Altius-U is a larger and heavier vehicle with a take-off mass of about 6 tons and a payload of about 1 tons. The machine has two piston engines. Estimated duration of patrol reaches 48 hours. The UAV communicates with the operator’s console via satellite channels, which makes the range of the complex virtually unlimited. A heavy drone is capable of carrying optical, radio engineering or radar detection means. It is also planned to equip it with outboard missile or bomb weapons - to strike at ground targets.


      "Orion" - a whole size range. These are machines weighing from 1 ton with a payload of about 200 kg, up to 2,5 and 5 tons.


      Little is known about Hunter. Aviation Week magazine writes that a 20-ton S-70 can receive small-sized missiles. Their weight will be about 200 kg, and the size will not exceed 3 m. A model of such a product was shown at a meeting on fleet development in January in Sevastopol to President Vladimir Putin. According to some reports, the machine will be able to carry up to 8 tons of combat load.

      https://tass.ru/opinions/7990777
    4. universe1 17 March 2020 10: 52 New
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      Nothing, just a movie. No mass production. It’s like with Armata.
      1. Sky strike fighter 17 March 2020 11: 15 New
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        So you decide. Or nothing or not mass production. Because nothing is nothing, but the tests of the already created shock UAVs, which will go into the series only after the completion of state tests, but which already exist and are being tested, are two different things.
  4. Vasyan1971 17 March 2020 10: 37 New
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    undeniable superiority in attacks on ground targets. However, it is not adapted for operation in a modern air defense system. They easily go astray

    Oh, hold me seven until you roll off the couch! wassat Indisputable superiority, but easy to get off! Oh, I can’t! Sorry for the rough writing! wassat
  5. Avior 17 March 2020 10: 42 New
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    relaxed in the States, stopped counting money in the military commissar, like we deserve better! smile
    But it seems, and they realize that there is not enough money, even if you have a printing press smile
    Fabulously expensive f-22 replaced by just expensive F-35 smile , here drones are trying to replace, next in line is an inexpensive frigate in addition to the expensive Arly Burke and the very expensive Zamvolt smile
    1. rudolff 17 March 2020 11: 05 New
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      And Virginia replaced the Sivulfs. The economics of war.
  6. Cowbra 17 March 2020 10: 52 New
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    due to their inability to overcome modern air defense systems

    .... and cheaper ones will be able to overcome immediately wink We continue the evening of Petrosianism from the pentagonal sawmill ... And what is such a cheap, or even expensive drone capable of overcoming modern air defense systems? We are not talking about your Patriots - they, too, at the Sawmill are scattered from Homn and branches winked
  7. knn54 17 March 2020 10: 58 New
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    -The US Air Force is considering replacing the MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper reusable drones that are "not a pity to lose."
    "The moral of this fable is that .. that a group of rabbits extinguishes Leo."
  8. askort154 17 March 2020 11: 30 New
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    Reconnaissance and combat UAVs MQ-9 are in service with the US Air Force and the CIA, as well as the Italian Air Force, Turkey, the UAE, Kazakhstan France, Great Britain and other countries.

    Not a typo? I doubt that the United States sold the CSTO member. And why does he need Kazakhstan to monitor flocks of sheep, or smuggling from China?
  9. Zaurbek 17 March 2020 11: 55 New
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    And when did you manage to buy Kazakhstan?
  10. Piramidon 17 March 2020 12: 17 New
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    The drone, which has been the main drone of the US Air Force in the Middle East for more than 20 years, is planned to be replaced with a cheaper device.

    They need to cooperate with Svidomo. Those know how to save. laughing
  11. PSih2097 17 March 2020 12: 35 New
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    US Air Force intends to replace MQ-9 Reaper with cheaper drone

    At the moment, the Navy, coupled with the US Air Force, is pumping up money with the XQ-58 and MQ-25 programs, which are by no means cheaper than the Reaper ...