Military Review

US attack drone MQ-9A Reaper doubled the number of missiles

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US attack drone MQ-9A Reaper doubled the number of missiles

US attack drone MQ-9A Reaper doubled the number of missiles. According to NPlus1 with reference to Aviation Week, the US Air Force has already tested an upgraded version of the drone.


The US Air Force has tested the MQ-9A Reaper strike drone with upgraded software to carry 8 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles instead of the previous four. The tests were carried out as part of a program to build up the capabilities of attack drones. The developers intend to achieve the ability of the UAV to hit as many targets as possible in one flight.

It is reported that the upgraded drone has been installed with new Operational Flight 2409 software, which is also being tested. It is planned that by the end of the year it will be installed on the entire fleet of the MQ-9A Reaper in service. The program is being developed by a joint order of the US Air Force and Special Operations Forces.

This program allows you to use pylons under the wing of the drone to place missiles, which were previously used only for installing additional fuel tanks or placing aviation bombs caliber 500 pounds (227 kilograms).

Previously, the MQ-9A Reaper attack drone was tested with a small Sparrowhawk reconnaissance drone suspended from it.
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  1. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 12: 55 New
    +1
    Previously, the MQ-9A Reaper attack drone was tested with a small Sparrowhawk reconnaissance drone suspended from it.

    General Atomics says this Sparrowhawk will be able to launch and return in flight in the MQ-9.
    1. eklmn
      eklmn 3 October 2020 16: 39 New
      +1
      The Sparrowhawk is part of the Gremlins Program, a drone swarm, so it has the ability to be caught by the "mother" aircraft (larger, not a drone).
      "Sparrowhawk: This drone can be launched and caught by the carrier aircraft"
      https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/sparrowhawk-drone-can-be-launched-air-and-recovered-mothership-169856

      MQ-9 can launch a Sparrowhawk, but cannot catch it, transport aircraft can catch it.
      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 16: 56 New
        0
        Quote: eklmn
        MQ-9 can launch a Sparrowhawk, but cannot catch it, transport aircraft can catch it.

        Not a fact, in the press release they write about the MQ-9. There is no talk of transport aircraft. Gremlin is a broader program.
        Sparrowhawk iterates on the DARPA Gremlins Program to further airborne recovery of sUAS, reducing the cost of operation and enabling new mission capabilities to GA-ASI's MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
        The test flights build on the capabilities demonstrated when Gray Eagle carried two Area-I Altius-600 Air Launched Effects (ALEs) during Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) demonstrations, underscoring GA-ASI's commitment to expanding the capabilities of its aircraft. Sparrowhawk and airborne recovery also enable these benefits

        https://www.ga.com/ga-asi-conducts-sparrowhawk-suas-flight-tests
        1. eklmn
          eklmn 3 October 2020 20: 14 New
          0
          "According to General Atomics, the Sparrowhawk is a small unmanned aerial vehicle designed as a 'demonstration drone for launching and then catching in the air' by a transport, large drone or airplane."
          Fishing is carried out in several ways - flying into the cabin of the transporter (into the net) or with a fishing rod. An example with a fishing rod here (so far a cartoon):
          https://youtu.be/Bvf9v4EHovY?t=118
          It seems to me that only pilot machines can catch a drone, the MQ-9 is small and has other tasks - let it out_and_forget it ... You can't put a fishing rod in it ...
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 20: 34 New
            -1
            Wait and see. From the press release it simply follows that it is returned to the media i.e. on MQ-9. But in the photo, additional mechanisms are not visible. About the gremlin in the course, an awesome project.
  2. Nikolay Ivanov_5
    Nikolay Ivanov_5 3 October 2020 12: 56 New
    -1
    damned adversaries
    1. Observer2014
      Observer2014 3 October 2020 13: 04 New
      +1
      Quote: Nikolai Ivanov_5
      damned adversaries

      Swear at them, it will suddenly feel better. lol And we have Che similar in massive quantities will appear.
      The need and uselessness of such systems is clearly visible in wars around the world.
      1. Nikolay Ivanov_5
        Nikolay Ivanov_5 3 October 2020 13: 13 New
        -2
        So I will scold.
      2. Alexey from Perm
        Alexey from Perm 3 October 2020 14: 06 New
        0
        Strike UAVs they were needed yesterday, but they are still not in service ... then the Azerbadzians are doing it with the Turks over the Armenians, it could be with us (((
  3. 113262a
    113262a 3 October 2020 13: 03 New
    +5
    Judging by the war in Karabakh, the drones of the Muslims simply shoot the enemy, like in a shooting range! The non-brothers bought Turkish Bayraktars and are diligently mastering them. The Russian Federation lags far behind both the Turks and Israel. in the construction and use of these weapons. All this is sad. God forbid that they spoil us with blood. The air defense proved to be ineffective.
    1. Odysseus
      Odysseus 3 October 2020 13: 13 New
      +3
      Quote: 113262
      God forbid that they spoil our blood. The air defense proved to be ineffective.

      More new Torahs are needed. And don't forget about camouflage. The problem is that there can be a lot of UAVs, kamikazes, small drones and guided munitions in the first echelon, complex Riper-type vehicles in the second. They simply overload the air defense system.
      1. Vadim_888
        Vadim_888 3 October 2020 22: 00 New
        0
        Massing the use of Drones is possible only when gaining air superiority, for modern fighters they are just targets, with modern space control facilities in combination with ground-based surveillance equipment, ground-based short- and medium-range missiles may well cover both the launch and basing sites of Drones, and control points , or control repeaters ...
    2. newcomer
      newcomer 3 October 2020 13: 32 New
      +4
      Why? "Tunguska M" _ is sharpened for drones, plus "Tor M2" will receive small-sized missiles for drones. If we do not have time to call. drones, so we learn to shoot them down, plant, intercept them.
      1. Thunderbolt
        Thunderbolt 3 October 2020 15: 10 New
        +1
        Quote: Odyssey
        More new Torahs are needed.

        Thor is an expensive machine, but detectors and combined-firing systems up to the platoon are ALWAYS needed! Science, information technology and defense are developing so rapidly that soon every infantryman will have to pull a miniature air defense-missile defense system on his exo-skeleton.
        Disguise is sacred and I dare to assure you that the footage of the firing of heavy air defense complexes in YUTYUBE is fundamentally different from the real ones, which means combat.
        Of course, the signature of the PU shek location is difficult
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 15: 14 New
          0
          Quote: Thunderbolt
          soon every infantryman will have to pull a miniature air defense-missile defense system on his exo-skeleton

          Exaggerated, of course, but generally true. The UAV complex is already smaller and cheaper than the ATGM, they will be at the department level.
        2. Thunderbolt
          Thunderbolt 3 October 2020 15: 34 New
          0
          hide, but there has always been a method of generating activity so that the missiles go there. In this regard, the very existence of the air defense of the ground and the country as always / where without it))) / is under threat.
          After knocking out radio-contrast and super-visible targets in the form of radar, the enemy practically blinds the defense. What will these batteries cost, without a circular and sectorial view.

          kamikaze, small drones and guided munitions in the first echelon, sophisticated Riper-type vehicles in the second. They simply overload the air defense system.

          To the very point: an iron colossus, a lot of colossus, people, supplies, energy, and suddenly, like in Chuikov's rhyme, about the conventionally evil Cockroach and a simple solution - a little wonder.
          Reluctantly I write, because. PROPO itself
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 16: 45 New
            -1
            Quote: Thunderbolt
            kamikaze, small drones and guided munitions in the first echelon, sophisticated Riper-type vehicles in the second. They simply overload the air defense system.

            I agree. The only UAV of the Riper type is echelon 3, free hunting for ground equipment. Before clearing the area from the remnants of the troops.
            UTAP-22 vehicles can be added to the first echelon. It is in the photo under the wing of the F-15, if you modify 4-6 pieces, one plane will fit. A link of 4 F-15s will release 16-24 drones armed with electronic warfare systems, radars, RTRs, missiles and bombs, add good old tomahawks and other "delights".

            2 echelon F35 together with XQ-58 or similar
            Echelon 3 is all that is flying.
            The picture is sad. By the way, the question arises of the need for MBT, in fact they are now only a goal. If the air behind you only needs their cannon, which can be placed on a lighter platform, if the air is lost, then they are target number 1 and you need to stay away from them.
        3. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 17: 00 New
          -1
          Quote: Thunderbolt
          each infantryman will have to pull a miniature air defense-missile defense system on his exo-skeleton

          For each soldier, this is of course too much, but for each unit of armored vehicles to put a KAZ which is worth working on both targets and on the vehicle.
        4. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 17: 10 New
          -1
          To catch up. We talked about Air Force systems, there are also Army systems, they recently launched a new drone program.
        5. Odysseus
          Odysseus 3 October 2020 23: 08 New
          0
          Quote: Thunderbolt
          Thor is an expensive car, but detectors and combined-firing systems up to the platoon are ALWAYS needed!

          Well, as practice has shown, you cannot save on military air defense. Especially with the enemy's advantage in the classic air force. And we are more likely to overspend on PR and adopt several similar systems that the military-industrial complex sells at a high price, as a result of which we have several different types of new models and a bunch of old weapons.
          As for massaging systems like Gibki-S or Sagittarius, of course, I agree
          Quote: Thunderbolt
          Science, information technology and defense are developing so rapidly that soon every infantryman will have to drag a miniature air defense-missile defense system on his exo-skeleton.

          Ideally, in practice, we would replace the technique of the 70s-80s in a ratio of 1 to 1.
          Operationally, drone dominance can be countered by the scale and pace of the offensive. If, for example, a tank army of the times of the USSR advances at least somehow covered by air defense, the drones simply will not have time to knock out all the equipment. It's another matter who now has such opportunities ...
          In regional conflicts, especially if you are on the defensive, drones without air defense will arrange a battle ax in a couple of weeks.
      2. Airdefense
        Airdefense 5 October 2020 08: 38 New
        0
        The situation is actually much more serious. The experience in Syria (from friends, acquaintances who were directly involved) showed that echeloned air defense is now capable of successfully fighting drones. As soon as reserves were brought up in Idlib, the drones began to fall. Well, actually it would be surprising if it were different.
        But there is a gigantic one, now it is not possible to launch hundreds of drones at once on some narrow section of the front, a huge operator center will be required that can be hit, there are fundamental problems in control channels, etc. And now, first of all, Israel, but most likely Turkey work on the development of systems that allow you to control a whole swarm, so that one operator can drive dozens of drones. The experience in Syria is also used by drone manufacturers, and well-organized air defense knocks down drones, but this air defense has a resource and how Armenians use dummies, you can also use drones dummies. In a drone, the glider itself and the engine are not expensive, the main price is optoelectronic systems and communication, and accordingly, you can make cheap drones "dummies" that are controlled through another more expensive drone as part of a swarm, one strike or reconnaissance drone will fly nearby up to ten pacifiers.
        1. newcomer
          newcomer 5 October 2020 08: 43 New
          0
          At the moment, the task is not to shoot down the drone with a rocket, but to influence it by means of electronic warfare. That is, cyber air defense should extinguish signals to swarms of drones, and then counteract the drone control center. Opportunities for the development of electronic warfare, especially ours, will make it possible to do this in the near future.
          1. Airdefense
            Airdefense 5 October 2020 08: 51 New
            -1
            Yes, this is an obvious decision that the weak point in drones is the control channel, but electronic warfare is also a target for specialized systems and drones.
            1. newcomer
              newcomer 5 October 2020 09: 03 New
              0
              So far, our failures have not. And of course, the eternal struggle and counter-struggle. There are no other options yet_ either kinetic action or electronic warfare.
  4. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 3 October 2020 13: 05 New
    0
    the experience of Syria and Krabakh shows what an advantage can be given by shock drones and drones like mikaze, I hope our General Staff shakes his head
  5. Odysseus
    Odysseus 3 October 2020 13: 06 New
    +1
    Yes, of course, the latest super-successful drone applications pose new challenges for us. It all looks just frightening. It is necessary to rebuild the air defense system.
    And the drummers themselves are badly needed. God bless him with Reaper, there are at least 100 things like the Turkish Bayraktar ...
    And we have almost no Soviet reserve here and therefore the results are deplorable. We bought from Israel, now probably we need to negotiate with the Chinese in order to quickly get real results.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 13: 18 New
      +1
      Quote: Odyssey
      And we have almost no Soviet reserve here and therefore the results are deplorable.

      We do not have a clear understanding of what is needed. We chase the Americans, where they are strong. We throw ours. We had our own UAVs TU 141/143/243. It was necessary to develop them. Make shock variants, fighter ones. While we are going on a losing path of repetition. These Rippers will soon be written off and will be replaced by what we did in the 70s. Flying wings are too expensive and highly specialized, aircraft in the USA are measured in dozens according to this scheme and will not be much more.
      1. Odysseus
        Odysseus 3 October 2020 14: 04 New
        +1
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        We throw ours. We had our own UAVs TU 141/143/243. It was necessary to develop them. Make shock variants, fighter ones.

        I, of course, remember about Flight. Great technique for the 70s. But this is the day before yesterday as a drone .. Flight time 13 minutes. Possibility of using a maximum of 5 times. It cannot be altered for the tasks of a modern drone. The CD would have turned out to be normal, but this alteration had to be done 25 years ago.
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        These Rippers will soon be written off and will be replaced by what we did in the 70s.

        I don’t understand. Where does the infa come from that they write off Reapers and switch to the CD as a drone?
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 14: 29 New
          0
          Quote: Odyssey
          Flight time 13 minutes. Can be used up to 5 times. It cannot be altered for the tasks of a modern drone.

          I write to develop, not alter. Naturally, new technologies provide new opportunities. In fact, I'm talking about analogues of XQ-58 and UTAP-22.


          Quote: Odyssey
          Where does the infa come from that they write off the Reapers and switch to the CD as a drone?

          Ripers will be decommissioned around 2030. There will be several different platforms instead. While it is known about the long-range reconnaissance aircraft and the "flying wing" drummer, there will be more. They plan to carry out all the necessary tests by the middle of this decade and begin serial production in the second half.
          I read about this here and on Thedrive.
          1. Odysseus
            Odysseus 3 October 2020 23: 24 New
            0
            Quote: OgnennyiKotik
            I write to develop, not alter. Naturally, new technologies provide new opportunities. In fact, I'm talking about analogues of XQ-58 and UTAP-22.

            Unmanned wingmen? Yes, this is a good idea, you just need to implement a system of interaction with the aircraft in real time. But, from my point of view, this is rather an addition to the existing UAVs.
            Quote: OgnennyiKotik
            Ripers will be decommissioned around 2030. There will be several different platforms instead.

            Was not in the know. Thanks. I'll study the question. But here they write that the UAV is for replacement according to the flying wing scheme, or the same as the Reaper. It is unlikely that an analogy with the Tu-143 can be found here. At least at first glance.
        2. Tsoy
          Tsoy 3 October 2020 14: 32 New
          0
          I don’t understand. Where does the infa come from that they write off Reapers and switch to the CD as a drone?


          The competition has just been announced this September. The replacement will begin in the 30s. Lockheed and Northrop each introduced flying wings, and ripper manufacturer General Atomics is the next generation of its design. The same scheme only the jet engine. Here are the details.

          https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/air-force-association/2020/09/17/defense-companies-are-lining-up-to-build-a-replacement-for-the-mq-9-reaper/
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 14: 41 New
            -2
            But as more commercial drone makers enter the fray, it may become more economical and effective to operate a family of UAVs, with some built for high-end penetrating strike and reconnaissance missions, and others for low-end surveillance from commercial off-the- shelf manufacturers, said Will Roper, the Air Force's top acquisition official.

            Flying wing as one of the replacement options. Most likely there will be several different systems, different purposes and prices. Wings cannot replace the entire fleet of rippers, it is too expensive and ineffective.
    2. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 3 October 2020 21: 55 New
      -1
      A video was released about possible converters for the ILC. Including unmanned vehicles.
  6. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 3 October 2020 13: 15 New
    -3
    But I don’t understand what exactly we have a problem with making a drone?
    Glider? - Yes, earlier pioneers in children's clubs did this.
    Engine ?
    TV camera?
    Is the locator portable?
    Connection?
    Put it all together and make it work?
    Well then, everything is completely sad.
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 3 October 2020 13: 39 New
      +1
      Engine - you need a light, economical, sharpened for certain operating modes with a good resource. We need either an engine with a small aircraft (which is not particularly favored in the Union) or, what is better, a special one.

      Not a TV camera, but a stabilized multi-mode OLS. That is, this is a unit with a conventional camera, thermal imager, optical zoom, etc. In theory, this is easier, but the problem is with the mass dimensions. Again, this is an urgent global problem, everyone lightens their ELCs to the maximum. The main thing is that the goal is distinguishable, and the fact that artifacts or quality are not for PR, the main thing is to lighten and reduce a little.

      The locator is not there, or rather it is an additional equipment.

      Communication to the satellite, or direct (for little things, where it is more profitable to save on price and weight, but it still will not fly far). It is also possible to work on a flight mission. In the application, draw a march, areas of shooting / other actions and release. The autonomous UAV performs the task and returns. Also, if the connection is broken, the UAV goes to the home zone by coordinates, using its INS.

      Problems:
      - there is no special groundwork, all sorts of Bees and monsters of the Tupolev Design Bureau are not even suitable as a platform from which to start. Even the Outposts are not very good here. In fact, it is necessary to do on the basis of foreign samples from new ones, so as not to lag behind completely.
      - problems with MO, which is far from real innovation. And for a long time, UAVs were considered toys for the rich. Which are not needed. And if anything, then there Pokryshkin and Kozhedub messer knocked down, and here our falcons, a piece of plastic with a motor that flies on the rails at the speed of a corn-worker in hundreds will be knocked down during the flight.
      - problems with the industry, which cannot withstand the parameters or generally throws the topic, filling up the whole direction.
      - problems with time. For when they began to seriously engage in this, even Iran already used its Shaheeds 129 in real hostilities and delivered strikes. It will take another two or three years before the start of the real implementation of shock UAVs, which are now in prototypes, pre-series and the beginning of production.
    2. Odysseus
      Odysseus 3 October 2020 14: 10 New
      0
      Quote: Jacket in stock
      But I don’t understand what exactly we have a problem with making a drone?

      donavi49 answered in detail, but I would add that, as practice shows, the problem is still solvable.
      So, for example, Iran, starting from Chinese developments, has by now managed to create and, most importantly, mass-produce almost the entire line of drones.
      If Iran could, then in theory, even in its current state, Russia will also be able to do it.
      While the truth is not very good
    3. spectr
      spectr 3 October 2020 17: 32 New
      0
      In the Russian military-industrial complex, equipment must go through vibration, temperature and climatic tests. Have the necessary resistance to overload. Provide a certain period of operation without repair.
      It's not difficult to assemble, but to assemble for use in the army is much more difficult. Pioneers in kids' clubs can't do that.
      The same American reapers, good cars, but how they behave at low temperatures is not yet known.
      1. Tsoy
        Tsoy 3 October 2020 18: 43 New
        -1
        American reapers, good cars, but how they behave at low temperatures is not yet known.


        The traitor the progenitor of the reaper during the time of the red wings in the Afghani fell from icing. Out of 3 we lost 2. More details about the operation are well written in the book operator of a combat drone. There are a lot of funny and interesting things about uavs in the structure of the us air force.
      2. The eye of the crying
        The eye of the crying 4 October 2020 13: 47 New
        0
        Quote: spectr
        The same American reapers, good cars, but how they behave at low temperatures is not yet known.


        Reapers fly at great heights. The temperature is always low there.
    4. The eye of the crying
      The eye of the crying 4 October 2020 13: 50 New
      0
      Quote: Jacket in stock
      But I don’t understand what exactly we have a problem with making a drone?


      There is no problem making a drone. There is a problem to make a drone useful in combat.
  7. Prahlad
    Prahlad 3 October 2020 13: 21 New
    0
    We would have a couple of hundred