MQ-9 Reaper: Unfettered for Export

May 14/24: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced two major upgrades to its MQ-9A Reaper drones for cyber and anti-aircraft missile threats. The company disclosed last week that it had tapped the services of US cybersecurity startup Shift5 to integrate its onboard cyber anomaly detection and predictive maintenance solutions into the remotely piloted aircraft. These capabilities will help defeat malicious code that could disable the drone or steal valuable intelligence data, ensuring cyber survivability and enhanced mission readiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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0 Reaper, ready… (click to view full) 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 MQ-1 landing – 1 Hellfire fired? (click to view full) The MQ-9 Reaper was once called “Predator B,” but it is only loosely based on the famous MQ-1 Predator drone. The Reaper is 36 feet long, […]

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