The Reaper MQ-9, the drone that crashed into a Russian fighter over the Black Sea, looks like this

The Reaper MQ-9, the drone that crashed into a Russian fighter over the Black Sea, looks like this

The Pentagon has reported Tuesday a collision between a U.S. drone and a Russian fighter over the Black Sea with no injuries reported. The White House said in a statement that the drone was engaged in “routine exercises”. in the area.

The drone involved in the crash is the MQ-9 Reaper manufactured by General Atomics. It is a UAV (an unmanned aerial vehicle) also known as Predator B and first flew in 2001. It entered service in May 2007 and is in use in the U.S. Air Force and Navy, the British Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force and also here: the Spanish Air and Space Army has four.

It is not a small drone, it looks more like an airplane: its wingspan reaches 20 meters. As an unmanned aerial vehicle, the MQ-9 is the first attack UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance, as the U.S. Air Force once stated on its official website.

The ‘Reaper’ can fly uninterrupted for up to 26 hours, with a speed of up to 425 km/h.

The Reaper or Predator B can fly uninterruptedly for up to 26 hours.with a speed of up to 425 km/h and a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet. It performs surveillance and reconnaissance missions, with a payload capacity of 1,746 kg including 1,364 kg of external payload.

It is equipped with a set of sensors known as MTS Bravo, consisting of three infrared, one low visibility and one normal visibility camera. The system can carry armament (the Spanish system is not configured for it at the moment, Infodefensa reports).

The MG-9 can carry armament, but the four that Spain has are not configured for it.

To cope with the Russian invasion, the Pentagon has so far delivered to Ukraine more than 700 drones, including tactical devices that can be used to carry out attacks. But compared to all of them, the Reaper is a more sophisticated device with greater range, speed and capabilities.

The Spanish ‘Reaper’ or ‘Predator B’.

The Spanish Air Force has four MQ-9 Predator B (the ones now called Reaper). Received with three deployable ground control stations between 2019 and 2020, they are used by the 233rd Squadron of the 23rd Wing at the Talavera la Real (Badajoz) base for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance missions. They cost $158 million.

The oldest U.S. Army drone still in use.
The oldest U.S. Army drone still in use.

Other Armed Forces bodies, such as the Armed Forces Intelligence Center (Cifas), under the Defense General Staff (Emad), use the images captured by the devices. In December 2021, the Government approved an agreement that will allow the Ministry of Defense to increase to 80.7 million euros the allocation to finance the logistical support of the Air Force’s Predator B MQ-9A.

Kayleigh Williams