Wednesday, February 21, 2024

U.S. Army MQ-1C drone conducted emergency landing in Niger

The U.S. Army MQ-1C unmanned aircraft, also known as Gray Eagle, conducted an emergency landing in Niger (West Africa).

In a release late Sanday, U.S. Africa Command said the remotely piloted aircraft conducted an emergency landing in the vicinity of Agadez, Niger, Jan. 23.

“The aircraft experienced a mechanical malfunction while conducting a routine mission in support of operations in the region,” the command said in a Twitter post.

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According to a tweet from U.S. Africa Command, an investigation into the cause of the malfunction will take place. The aircraft is under observation.

Details are still limited, but pictures circulating on social media shows that a U.S. Army drone was armed with at least one AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is manufactured by General Atomics. It is the latest version of the Predator series of drones, retooled and upgraded for Army-specific needs.

The Arme website said the MQ-1C has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet, and carries 1,075 lb (488 kg) of internal and external payload. The aircraft can carry multiple payloads aloft, including Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) with laser designation, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), communications relay, and four Hellfire missiles.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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