Two days ago, a serious accident occurred after a Russian Sukhoi-27 fighter collided with an American Reaper drone. MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea. America said that the American forces had to drop the march in international waters.
Gen. James P. Hecker, a senior military official overseeing Air Force operations in the region, said in a statement that the plane was “conducting routine operations in international airspace” when it was hit by a Russian SU-27, calling it an “unsafe and unsafe act.” occupation by the Russians.
This incident sheds light on this type of march and the work it does. What is this march and what are its advantages and disadvantages, if any?
High technological specifications
According to American reports, the “MQ-9” Reaper drone is among the most modern American drones, possesses high technological specifications, and can perform a number of missions on the battlefields.
This aircraft is an updated version of the MQ-1 Predator that was introduced in the nineties of the last century, and it is capable of carrying out missions related to monitoring, surveillance, espionage, search and rescue, and it is also capable of attacking targets on the ground, and it uses a missile launcher in fields Fighting.
The US Air Force has contracted General Atomics to build more than 360 Reaper aircraft since the program began in 2007, each costing about $30 million, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service last year.
Missions over Iraq and Afghanistan
Reports indicate that these aircraft “carried out missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries, and are operated remotely by two teams from two bases out of 20 bases in 17 states, one of which leads the mission and controls the drone, while the other operates sensors and directs weapons.”
The aircraft can carry eight laser-guided missiles, 16 Hellfire missiles, and up to 1,300 pounds (590 liters) of fuel. This allows it to soar in the air for 1,150 miles (1,850 km) and fly as high as 50,000 feet.
Some reports reported that this march was used to assassinate the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad, and it was also used to assassinate al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the Afghan capital.
Designed for long trips
The New York Times stated that “the Reaper drone can reach speeds of 275 miles (442 km) per hour, and is designed for long flights, with some models capable of flying for up to 34 hours.
“While the Reaper can drop bombs and launch missiles, its slow speed and lack of defensive weapons make it relatively easy to shoot down,” she noted.
And the US “NBC News” network, quoting officials, stated that the United States is studying the possibility of recovering the wreckage of the march, but the Russian army can reach the march before any other American ship.
In December 2021, retired US Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie described the plane on “Fox News” as “cannot withstand prominent opponents.”
And there was information that the Pentagon had begun to search diligently for a replacement for it.
Easy air target
Experts in the field of air defense told the “Russian Weapons” newspaper that the drone in the skies over Ukraine would become an excellent air target. It will be detected and destroyed by any Russian fighter. It will not become a problem for military air defense systems such as Tor or Buk, especially for the S-300, and the Reaper is vulnerable to electronic warfare systems.
Training to operate the MQ-9 in the US Army takes a full year, but even this period does not guarantee success, as information has been circulated in the media that since 2011 only, the Pentagon has lost 12 of these aircraft. Where only 4 were dropped, and 8 were lost due to the errors of those who control them.
According to Russian media, the Reaper will become an expensive and almost useless toy in the hands of the untrained Ukrainian military.