Soaring value of MQ-9 Reaper explored as Russian jet downs US drone

The downing of an MQ-9 Reaper drone following a collision with a Russian jet is susceptible to value the US Military a quantity of million {{dollars}}.

The United States military has strongly condemned Russian pilots, after a collision on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, observed a Russian jet down an MQ-9 Reaper drone that was flying over the Black Sea.

The incident will seemingly stoke tensions between the US and Russia, a historically fractured worldwide relationship that has been put beneath extra strain following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

And some people are questioning in regards to the potential value of a model new MQ-9 Reaper drone, must the military select to change the downed aircraft.

What is the MQ-9 Reaper?

The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is commonly identified as the MQ-9 Reaper or Predator B, and has been utilized by military personnel throughout the US since 2007.

The MQ-9 is a UAV, a time interval many might have heard in video video video games like Call Of Duty, that stands for Unmanned Ariel Vehicle, which implies its travels are managed remotely, with out the need for an onboard pilot.

MQ-9s are heavyweight aircraft which could be supposed to be used strictly for military operations. Newer fashions of the Reaper can reportedly fire a quantity of missiles inside 0.32 seconds of one another and should fly unmanned for as a lot as 40 hours.

Having been initially deployed by the US by means of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of the 2000s, MQ-9 Reapers have since been utilized by quite a few militaries globally, along with the United Kingdom and France.

Cost of the MQ-9 Reaper explored

As of March 2021, the US Air Force has acknowledged that the unit value of an MQ-9 Reaper is $56.5 million, for a package deal deal that options “four aircraft with sensors, ground control station and Predator Primary satellite link”.

Unsurprisingly, given the aircraft’s velocity and frighteningly quick firing payment, the worth of an MQ-9 Reaper would put a dent throughout the military funds of any nation.

In April 2021, the US safety division quoted the Australian authorities an estimated decide of $1.651 billion, as soon as they enquired about searching for 12 MQ-9 Reapers, along with the associated instruments and supplies.

It was reported in 2020 that the US was in search of to alter the MQ-9 throughout the early 2030s, throughout the hope of using a extra moderen drone model that may take advantage of of artificial intelligence experience.

US European Command laments Russian pilots

The data of the downing of the MQ-9 triggered a stern response from the European wing of the US Air Force, who warned of the potential ramifications of the incident.

James B. Hecker, the commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa claimed that: “Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9”.

Hecker went on to label the conduct of the Russians “unsafe and unprofessional”, claiming that the crash could have resulted in every aircraft occurring, sooner than warning that the crash could end in “unintended escalation” between the US and Russia.

The Russian safety ministry carried out down the incident, explaining to The Guardian that: “As a result of sharp manoeuvring around 9.30 (Moscow time), the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle went into uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and collided with the water surface”.


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