MQ-9 Reaper: Unfettered for Export
May 27/21: Spain The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Spain of Follow-on Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for GA-ASI MQ-9A Blk 5 Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $110 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale. Spain’s MQ-9A aircraft fleet provides Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance support that directly supports US and coalition operations around the world. The Government of Spain has requested to buy follow on Contractor Logistics Support to include contractor provided MQ-9A Blk 5 aircraft components, spares, and accessories; repair and return; software and software support services; simulator software; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; US Government and contractor provided engineering, technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
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The MQ-9 Reaper UAV, once called “Predator B,” is somewhat similar to the famous Predator. Until you look at the tail. Or its size. Or its weapons. It’s called “Reaper” for a reason: while it packs the same surveillance gear, it’s much more of a hunter-killer design. Some have called it the first fielded Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
The Reaper UCAV will play a significant role in the future USAF, even though its capability set makes the MQ-9 considerably more expensive than MQ-1 Predators. Given these high-end capabilities and expenses, one may not have expected the MQ-9 to enjoy better export success than its famous cousin. Nevertheless, that’s what appears to be happening. MQ-9 operators currently include the USA and Britain, who use it in hunter-killer mode, and Italy. Several other countries are expressing interest, and the steady addition of new payloads are expanding the Reaper’s advantage over competitors…
The MQ-9 Reaper, and its Little Brothers
Competitors & Prospects
Future Planning & Developments
Contracts & Key Events, 2005 SDD – Present
FY 2014 – 2021
FY 2005 – 2007
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: The Reaper Family
Background: Reaper Ancillaries
News & Views
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