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'Reaper' Moniker Given to MQ-9
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
The Air Force Chief of Staff announced
'Reaper' has been chosen as the name for the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle.
Washington D.C. -- September 14, 2006 – (USAF)
The Air Force Chief of Staff announced "Reaper" has been chosen as the name for
the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Air Force is the Department of Defense's executive agent
for designating and naming military aerospace vehicles.
In the case of the Reaper, Gen. T. Michael Moseley made the
final decision after an extensive nomination and review process, coordinated
with the other services.
"The name Reaper is one of the suggestions that came from our
airmen in the field. It's fitting as it captures the lethal nature of this new
weapon system," Moseley said.
The MQ-9 Reaper is the Air Force's first hunter-killer
unmanned aeriel vehicle. It's larger and more powerful than the MQ-1 Predator
and is designed to go after time-sensitive targets with persistence and
precision, and destroy or disable those targets with 500-lb. bombs and Hellfire
"The Reaper represents a significant evolution in UAV
technology and employment,” he said. “We've moved from using UAVs primarily in
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi
Freeom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper."
Moseley stressed that the key advantage is not keeping manned
aircraft and pilots out of harm's way, but the persistence unmanned aerial
vehicles can inherently provide. The Reaper can stay airborne for up to 14 hours
A 900 hp turbo-prop engine, compared to the 119 hp Predator
engine, powers the aircraft. It has a 64-foot wingspan and carries more than 15
times the ordnance of the Predator, flying almost three times the Predator's
The Air Force has seven MQ-9 Reapers in its inventory, with a
full-rate production decision expected in 2009. The Air Force is the global
leader in UAV innovation, Moseley said.