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2 Dozen MQ-9 Reapers Going to Iraq in '08

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posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 12:58 AM
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Word out at Nellis & Creech AFBs where I have been since January is that the MQ-9 Reapers will be operating as a squadron of 2 dozen units and deployed to Iraq in winter/spring of 2008. (Before this major deployment there will be a small number of Reapers sent to Afghanistan)




These hunter-killer UAVs will be operated out of Creech and have the ability to pack a strong punch. The Reaper carries 14 Hellfire missiles or four Hellfire missiles and 2 x 500-pound bombs.

At Creech AFB there will be a sensor operator and a pilot for each Reaper that will be stationed at Balad AFB - which is about 45 miles north of Baghdad. A 400,000 sq ft area is being built in anticipation of the Reaper's arrival at Balad in 2008.




posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 01:31 AM
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Saw that

www.foxnews.com...


BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq — The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It's outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. "hunter-killer" drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected "soon," says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? "We're still working that," Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.


mod edit to use "ex" tags
Quote Reference.



[edit on 16-7-2007 by sanctum]



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 01:45 AM
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Hi..I think this was posted already by me on 7-15 under robot squadron sent to Iraq. So it may affect how many come to this for comment. just thought I would let you know a 3rd person posted again after you. Boy are we excited about this!



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 07:13 AM
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Yeah I think I read about this the other day. I recall the idea is to supplement/take the pressure off, the F-16's and F-15E's currently operating in the area. Seems they are also a fraction of the cost per hour of an equivalent manned fighter. Given the budget "bleed factor" Iraq is causing this is probably an understandable move. It of course gives the operators a golden opportunity to test the system and prove the viabillity of the concept.

One point intelgurl, are you saying the sensor operator and pilot will be physically at Creech AFB but assigned to Balad, or drawn from Creech but operating actually out of Balad, Iraq? Or one of them back in the states whilst the other is in country? It would make sense to me to simply have the operation, which afterall is tactical, operated within the local theatre. Then again it would be neccessary to run a cost benefit analysis of moving the crew closer with the (I presume?) lower costs of having a locally set up control network without all the "back to the states" infrastructure (ie: dedicated satellite bandwidth which I again presume, would be considerable and therefore expensive) , versus the higher costs of having deployed personel.

Who would have thought wars would need to be fought by accountants


LEE.

[edit on 16-7-2007 by thebozeian]



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by Sys_Config
Hi..I think this was posted already by me on 7-15 under robot squadron sent to Iraq. So it may affect how many come to this for comment. just thought I would let you know a 3rd person posted again after you. Boy are we excited about this!


My apologies - I've been somewhat preoccupied lately and did not read your previous post on this.


Originally posted by thebozeian
One point intelgurl, are you saying the sensor operator and pilot will be physically at Creech AFB but assigned to Balad, or drawn from Creech but operating actually out of Balad, Iraq? Or one of them back in the states whilst the other is in country? It would make sense to me to simply have the operation, which afterall is tactical, operated within the local theatre.

Both the pilot and the sensor operator will be/are located at Creech AFB in Nevada. The two crew members sit at a bank of controls and monitors and can be patched into any fielded Reaper.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:44 AM
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Is the Air Force going to give them a paint job, or are they sending them in white?

It'd be cool to see something mean painted on them.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 09:07 AM
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There is an existing thread on this topic.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Please add to the ongoing discussion.

Thank you.




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