The North Dakota National Air Guard’s 119th Wing will receive two unmanned aircraft this summer.
That was reported by www.stripes.com.
The National Guard says the move part of the U.S. Air Force’s larger plan to upgrade its remotely piloted capability.
The aircraft is the MQ-9 Reaper, a multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance precision attack and reconnaissance aircraft. It will be used for training purposes.
The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset.
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.
The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine (compared to the Predator’s 115 hp (86 kW) piston engine). The greater power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance payload and cruise at about three times the speed of the MQ-1. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS), including weapons employment.