Warplanes: Reaper Does Smart Bombs


May 22,2008: 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.


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