The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron conducted the first flight of the MQ-9A Reaper carrying eight live AGM-114 Hellfire missiles on September 10, 2020, reinforcing the platform’s “persistent attack” role. This new capability is part of the MQ-9 Operational Flight Program 2409, a software upgrade set to field by the end of calendar year 2020. Previous to this software, the Reaper was limited to four AGM-114s across two stations. The new software allows flexibility to load the Hellfire on stations that previously were reserved for 500 lb. class bombs or fuel tanks.