Air Force buys MQ9-Reapers UAVs

March 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM
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POWAY, Calif., March 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $38.4 million contract to a California company for an additional two MQ9-Reapers unmanned aerial vehicles.

The MQ9-Reaper UAV is manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

General Atomics received the contract from the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, also known as the Predator B UAV, isn't only deployed by the Air Force but other federal agencies as well, including the U.S. Navy, the CIA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Britain's air force and the Italian air force deploy MQ-9s as well, designed as hunter-killer UAVs for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.

The Air Force UAV drone fleet is controlled from a ground control station at Nevada's Creech Air Force base outside Las Vegas.

The U.S. Department of Defense said General Atomics will undertake the work at its plant in Poway, Calif., and fulfill the contract by November 2013.

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