The U S Air Force is moving to retire the
MQ-1 Predator drone in early 2018 with the newer MQ-9 Reaper drone to better address
its combat needs. While replacement of the MQ-1 with the MQ-9
has been mulled for some time now, Air Force officials announced at least one attack squadron
will stop flying the MQ-1 as soon as July, with the goal of full service-wide transition
by next year. In this video Defense Updates analyzes the
changing scenario that has resulted in the decision and the difference in capability
of these two systems. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed
for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. In 2006, the then–Chief of Staff of the
United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley said: “We’ve moved from using drones
primarily in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi
Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper. The upgrade to MQ 9 indicates that the US
is more and more inclined in using drones for combat role. The “M” is the DOD (Department Of Defense) designation for multi-role, and “Q” means remotely piloted aircraft system. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is the
manufacturer of these drones. Since its first operational deployment in
the Balkan wars in the mid-1990s, the Predator has evolved from a pure surveillance drone
to an armed flying weapon that has become a symbol of American military forces in large
sections of the Middle East. The Predator has proven to be a very effective
combat UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), especially given that it was never designed to fire missiles.
MQ 1 was designed to gather intelligence on the battlefield. As the service began using them more often,
they were equipped with Hellfire laser-guided Air-to-Ground Missile, though; this subsequently
limited its payload to 450 pounds. A reduction of payload means that less sensors and reconnaissance
equipment can be carried. Another drawback is that it can fly at max
altitude of 25,000 feet and has a maximum speed of 84 mph. The Reaper has a number of advantages over
its Predator counterpart, having been designed from the ground up to be an offensive drone. The Reaper can fly up to 50,000 feet in altitude,
has a cruise speed of 194 mph and can carry a payload of 800 pounds. Reaper also has a
range of or 1,150 miles compared to 700 miles of Predator. It’s a much more flexible drone for military
planners, especially with the addition of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System. The range of sensors it has is great for keeping
track of targets on the ground. The full-motion video from the image sensors can be viewed
as a stream. It can also fire 4 Hellfire missiles, twice the number of the MQ-1. It must be noted that Hellfire missiles are
very versatile, as these can have different types of warheads for different scenarios.
Hellfire can have High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), tandem anti-armor Metal augmented
charge (MAC) or shaped charge blast fragmentation warhead. It can also carry GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38
Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The unit cost of the MQ1 is around $7 million,
while the MQ-9 Reaper costs around $14.75 million. The cost per hour of Predator flights stands at $3,679, compared to $4,762 for the Reaper. The retirement of the Predator doesn’t mean
they will be banished from the skies. Instead the manufacturer, General Atomics Aeronautical
Systems, has redeveloped the drone for civilian government use, renamed it the SkyGuardian,
and is trying to sell it to police forces around the world. The upgrade to MQ 9 comes at a time when drones
are playing more of a role in close air support missions, than they did during the beginning
days of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This is also a cost effective system, when
compared with $68,362 per hour flyinging cost for a F-22 Raptor, or $169,313 per hour for
a B-2 stealth bomber. The upgrade also shows the economic capability
of the United States in keeping its military systems up to date.


  • Incredible and interesting to me and I thought the police departments already had there own drones great video too

  • no matter what the American defense think thanks,do they can never match the radical capability of the Russian technology, that surprises the whole world, in a lot of ways,any Chinese smart kid can duplicate any American drones ,even the Iranians was able to. make a drone using America's. technology, by hacking American drone last time the Iranians ,accidentally brought down American drone ,this kind of drones is a common knowledge , that now becomes a play toys for kids who love , war, games in the internet hahahaha
    Sherwin T of the mountains

  • I wonder if they'll ever revise and improve the 2nd amendment.
    At where it stands right now the citizens need also rights for military-grade drones.
    Also it needs to be mass produced to lower cost.

  • Nice video, keep it up. I believe drones are the future of combat and all 4th gen jets will be replaced by drones. Their will be drone carriers instead of jet carriers.

  • Both of the drones are deadly, but the predator is the deadliest since it was made to be an offensive weapons system.

  • Weapons of a coward nation!
    One day like the movie terminator in apocalyptic USA waste lands these predators will kill the remnant of American Humans under the command of artificial intelligence.
    The Apostasy of Islam now holds God's moral high ground
    As the scriptures say
    ◄ Isaiah 54:17 ►
    "no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD."

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