The U.S. Air Force has
successfully tested the MQ-9 Reaper UAV with smart bombs. In the final test, a
Reaper carried four 500 pound smart bombs (three GPS guided and one laser
guided) and released them in rapid succession. All hit their targets. A fully
equipped Reaper costs over $20 million each. The 4.7 ton Reaper has a wingspan
of 66 feet and a normal payload of 1.7 tons. Also called the "Predator B", only
about a dozen are currently in service.
Reaper is considered a combat aircraft, because it normally carried over a ton of bombs or missiles. This includes the
hundred pound Hellfire missile, and 500 pound laser or GPS guided smart bombs.
By carrying less fuel, a Reaper can carry a ton of smart bombs.