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Air Force orders 30 more MQ-9 Reapers

The U.S. Air Force has ordered 30 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

By Richard Tomkins
Air Force orders 30 more MQ-9 Reapers
The U.S. Air Force has ordered 30 more MQ-9 Reaper drones. Pictured, an MQ-9 Reaper taxies on the runway in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has contracted General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. to produce 30 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles.

The fixed-price incentive firm contract -- for fiscal 2015 production configuration aircraft -- is worth $370,932,862, the U.S. Department of Defense announced.

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Production will be performed at the company's facilities at Poway, Calif., and will be completed by May 31, 2019.

The MQ-9 Reaper was formerly named the Predator B. It has a wingspan of 65.7 feet, a cruise speed of 194 miles per hour, and an altitude of 50,000 feet. It includes hard-points for weapons and features an internal sensor payload capacity of 800 pounds.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

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