Friday, September 24, 2021

Reports: U.S. MQ-9 military drone shot down over Syria

On Aug. 18, an unmanned U.S. observation aircraft was shot down over Northern Syria, according to local media reports.

A MQ-9 Reaper, a $15 million unmanned aerial combat vehicle, has been shot down over the opposition-held province of Idlib, north-western Syria.

Initially, the militants passed it off as a downed Russian Orlan-10 drone, but the photo showed the wreckage of MQ-9.


Reaper is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset.

Unmanned aircraft can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy/raid overwatch, target development, and terminal air guidance. The MQ-9’s capabilities make it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.

A crew comprising a pilot, sensor operator and mission intelligence co-ordinator flies Reaper from a remote ground control station (GCS). An in-theatre launch and recovery team is responsible for its ground operations.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.