Saturday, May 25, 2024

US Air Force flies surveillance unmanned aircraft over Black Sea

The U.S. Air Force surged MQ-9A Reaper surveillance unmanned aircraft into the Black Sea region to gather intelligence amid Russia is massing troops at the border with Ukraine.

Expert military aviation tracker the Aircraft Spots was first to notice the MQ-9A Reaper, using the callsign SWIVL21, over the Black Sea region.

“USAF MQ-9A callsign SWIVL21 round trip out of NAS Sigonella, Italy en route to the Black Sea for a reconnaissance mission,” the expert said in a Twitter post-Monday.


The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft. It is part of a remotely piloted aircraft system. A fully operational system consists of sensor/weapon-equipped aircraft, ground control station, Predator Primary Satellite Link, and spare equipment along with operations and maintenance crews for deployed 24-hour missions.

The Reaper is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. 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.

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more