04:38 GMT27 October 2020
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    After an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico, the US Air Force said that an armed Reaper drone demonstrated that it can hit maritime targets in coordination with other aircrafts, including A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning IIs.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An armed Reaper drone demonstrated for the first time its ability to strike maritime targets in coordination with other aircraft, the US Air Force said in a statement.

    “In addition to this being the first time an remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) squadron hit a maritime target, it was also a chance to integrate with other aircraft including A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning IIs,” the Air Force said on Thursday.

    The exercise took place over the Gulf of Mexico and involved a MQ-9 Reaper drone hitting a sea-based target with a missile while concurrently providing surveillance and intelligence data to other aircraft.

    “Through this exercise, the MQ-9 demonstrated its abilities in destroying sea-going targets, integrating and de-conflicting with other aircraft, as well as being able to stay in an area far longer than any other platform,” the US Air Force said.

    The Air Force explained the drone is able to stay in a potentially hostile area for hours, and can collect and pass intelligence to other aircraft, which is an especially important capability if the situation “becomes more volatile.”

    The MQ-9 Reaper is a high-altitude, high-endurance drone with weapons and surveillance capabilities.

     

    Related:

    Australian Military Starts Training on US Reaper Drones
    Tags:
    drone, military exercise, MQ-9 Reaper, Gulf of Mexico, US
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