Younger, meaner sibling of the MQ-1 Predator
Meet the younger, meaner sibling of the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle: the .
Whereas the older UAV was designed for operations such as surveillance and reconnaissance, the primary mission for the aptly named Reaper is to be a "persistent hunter-killer" drone, the first such device at the Air Force's disposal.
The Reaper has just begun a tour of duty in Afghanistan--that's where it is in this picture from October 1, and where it has flown daily missions since the last week of September. Despite its grim moniker, as of Friday the Reaper had yet to fire a weapon, according to the Air Force.
The Reaper outperforms the in a number of ways. The MQ-9 can fly twice as high and nearly nine times farther, and carries a bigger munitions payload, the Air Force said. Both aircraft are built by .
Caption text by Jonathan Skillings/CNET News.com
October 17, 2007 9:00 AM PDT
Photo by: U.S. Air Force
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