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US Air Force Launches Effort to Boost Reaper Drone Capabilities

© Photo : US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Brian FergusonUS MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight
US MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight - Sputnik International
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The US Air Force launched a new program to develop approved capabilities for its lethal Reaper drone, the Pentagon announced on Thursday .

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Air Force approved a nearly $100 million development program to advance the technology of its lethal MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system (UAS), the Department of Defense said in a press release.

US MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight - Sputnik International
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“General Atomics — Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $98,000,000… contract for the MQ-9 technology maturation effort,” the release stated on Thursday.

The program will provide a broad enterprise of activities associated with development of capabilities for the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the release added.

“The objective is to develop approved capabilities for the MQ-9 UAS to satisfy criteria to be on-ramped onto a contract to integrate the capability into the MQ-9 fleet,” the release explained.

Each capability will be assessed individually for logistics and engineering implications, risks, impacts, and operational suitability, the Defense Department added.

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