General Atomics has won a $370 million US Air Force contract to produce 30 MQ-9 Reaper drones.
The company's H30 aircraft will be delivered by May 31, 2019, the US Defense Department announced.
The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is used basically against dynamic targets and also it functions as an intelligence collection craft. The drone has an endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, can operate up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1746 kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1361 kilograms) of external stores.
The aircraft carries 500% more payload and has nine times the horsepower. It provides a long-endurance; persistent surveillance/strike capability for the war fighter. The aircraft is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture.
The aircraft is highly modular and is configured easily with a variety of payloads to meet mission requirements. It is also capable of carrying multiple mission payloads to include Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Lynx Multi-mode Radar, multi-mode maritime surveillance radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), laser designators, and various weapons packages.