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US Marine Corps Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract

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US Marine Corps Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract

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US Marine Corps Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract
US Marine Corps Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract

The U.S. Marine Corps recently received the first of eight MQ-9 Reapers, which was delivered under a joint contract with the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Navy’s Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Air System program team (PMA-266) at Pax River leveraged the U.S. Air Force’s Agile Reaper Enterprise Solution (ARES), an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) type contract, to procure U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper aircraft, associated spares, and support equipment for the Marine Corps.

“The U.S. Air Force has been a great partner and a major enabler in the Marine Corps’ pursuit to acquire group 5 UAS. Group 5 UAS will give the Marines the ability to conduct ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and network extensions in support of the MAGTF in support of stand-in forces and the Joint Force,” said Lt. Col Leigh Irwin, Marine Corps MQ-9 program director for PMA-266. Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU)-1 in Yuma will utilize this aircraft for operational missions overseas.”

U.S. Marine Corps Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3, Marine Aircraft Group 24, begins the assembly phase of the MQ-9A Reapers, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, May 10, 2023.
U.S. Marine Corps Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3, Marine Aircraft Group 24, begins the assembly phase of the MQ-9A Reapers, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, May 10, 2023. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The U.S. Air Force has enabled the Marine Corps to move fast standing up the Medium Altitude Long Endurance portion of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Uncrewed Expeditionary (MUX) family of systems, a key component of Marine Corps Force Design 2030. Currently, the Marine Corps has two operational MQ-9A aircraft to support a wide range of operations such as coastal and border surveillance, weapons tracking, embargo enforcement, humanitarian assistance /disaster relief, peacekeeping and counter-narcotic operations.

The MQ-9 Reaper is filling an immediate need for a long-range, long-endurance, land-based Group 5 UAS to conduct ISR and data relay in the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. Currently, the Marine Corps has two operational MQ-9A aircraft to support a wide range of operations such as coastal and border surveillance, weapons tracking, embargo enforcement, humanitarian assistance /disaster relief, peacekeeping and counter-narcotic operations.

US Marine Corps Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract
The MQ-9 Reaper provides Marines with a long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability in support of expeditionary advanced based operations, littoral operations in contested environments, and maritime domain awareness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

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