Polish Armed Forces Takes Delivery of Leased MQ-9A Reaper Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles
Polish Armed Forces Takes Delivery of Leased MQ-9A Reaper Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles

Polish Armed Forces Takes Delivery of Leased MQ-9A Reaper Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles

On February 12, leased General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have reached readiness to perform tasks in the field of acquiring reconnaissance data for the needs of the Polish Armed Forces. The MQ-9A unmanned aerial vehicles will enable the acquisition of reconnaissance data in the field of image reconnaissance (IMINT) by using electro-optical sensor heads and in the field of radio-electronic reconnaissance (SIGINT), in the area of interest to the Polish Armed Forces. The detailed specification of the system is classified.

The MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF). The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the USAF to indicate their human ground controllers. MQ-9A Reapers are operated by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.

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Already carrying Polish national markings, this is one of the General Atomics MQ-9A reaper unmanned aircraft that were delivered to Poland on Sunday.
Already carrying Polish national markings, this is one of the General Atomics MQ-9A reaper unmanned aircraft that were delivered to Poland on Sunday. (Photo by Poland MOD)

MQ-9A Reaper has endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS and can operate up to 50,000 feet. It has a 3,850-pound (1,746-kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms) of external stores. It provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance capability with Full-Motion Video and Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator/Maritime Radar. An extremely reliable aircraft, MQ-9A Block 5 is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.

The service of acquiring reconnaissance data based on the leased MQ-9A Reaper UAV is expected until the planned acquisition and use by the Polish Armed Forces of the MQ-9B Reaper unmanned reconnaissance and strike system. The reconnaissance data service based on the lease of the MQ-9A Reaper system, which includes several unmanned aerial platforms, is the result of a contract worth US $70.6 million net, concluded on October 20, 2022 between the State Treasury – the Armament Agency and General Atomics – Aeronautical Systems Inc. GA-ASI’s newer MQ-9B variant has been acquired by the UK and Belgium.

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