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  • MQ-9 Reaper Takes Flight with 8 Hellfire Missiles

    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. 
  • ABMS Onramp 2 sees second MQ-9 AIM-9X shot and other CMD tactics development

    From employing an AIM-9X from an MQ-9 to improving AGR-20 cruise missile defense tactics from the F-16, units across the 53d Wing played a critical role in the Advanced Battle Management System Onramp #2 from August 31 to September 3, 2020.   A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper assigned to the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron successfully employed a live air-to-air AIM-9X Block 2 missile against a target BQM-167 drone simulating a cruise missile. The crew received off-board cueing information, found and tracked the target, then maneuvered to validly employ the AIM-9X against the surrogate cruise missile.
  • Total Force wingmen enable MQ-1, MQ-9 mission

    In the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper community, active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen incorporate as a total force integration to provide 60 combat lines or 60 aircraft in the air, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This team of aircrew, maintenance and other career fields ensure mission success by enabling persistent strike and reconnaissance capabilities to eliminate enemies and keep ground and coalition forces safe.
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