Yemen claims its air defenses shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone

American MQ-9 Reaper drone was claimed shot down by Yemeni air defenses.

The following statement was released, “In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. With the help of God Almighty, our air defenses were able to shoot down an American MQ9 aircraft. The aircraft was conducting hostile, monitoring, and spying activities within Yemeni territorial waters. These activities were carried out within the framework of American military support for the Israeli entity.

The Yemeni Armed Forces affirm their legitimate right to defend the country and confront all hostile threats with the appropriate weapons, with God’s help. Yemen’s armed forces vow to continue military operations against Israel to support Palestine.”

About GA MQ-9 Reaper

The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems [GA-ASI] primarily for the United States Air Force [USAF]. It is capable of remote-controlled or autonomous flight operations. The USAF refers to the MQ-9 and other UAVs as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft [RPV/RPA] to indicate that they are controlled by humans on the ground.

The MQ-9 is an improved version of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. It is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft that can be controlled by the same ground systems as the Predator. The Reaper has a powerful 950-shaft-horsepower [712 kW] turboprop engine, which is much better than the Predator’s 115 hp (86 kW) piston engine. Due to the greater power of the engine, the Reaper can carry 15 times more ordnance payload and cruise at about three times the speed of the MQ-1.

Aircrew stationed at the Ground Control Station [GCS] are responsible for monitoring and controlling the aircraft, including its weapons system. The MQ-9 was specifically designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance and is the first hunter-killer UAV of its kind.

In 2006, General T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, stated that UAVs were previously used primarily for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance purposes before Operation Iraqi Freedom, but have since evolved to include a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper.

As of May 2021, the United States Air Force [USAF] had more than 300 MQ-9 Reapers in operation. Some of these aircraft have undergone equipment upgrades that enhance their performance in high-end combat situations, and all new MQ-9s will come with these upgrades. The MQ-9 fleet is projected to reach the end of its service life by 2035.

The estimated average unit cost of an MQ-9 in 2021 dollars is $30 million. The Reaper is utilized by several nations’ militaries as well as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. General Atomics has developed the MQ-9A further into the MQ-9B, which is referred to as SkyGuardian or SeaGuardian based on mission and payload.


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