The first Dutch MQ-9 Reaper-type unmanned reconnaissance aircraft will roll out of the US factory on Wednesday. The Royal Netherlands Air Force will receive a total of four of these drones, they will be located at Leeuwarden Air Base.
The so-called deployment takes place at the GA-ASI plant in Poway, United States. A representative of the Defense is present. Through a direct (which starts at 6.30 p.m.) the rollout can be followed.
The crew that flies the Reaper, made up of a pilot and a sensor operator, does not need to be present in the deployment area during a mission. Defense says the Reaper predicts a shortage in tactical and operational air-to-ground observation capabilities.
Drones are equipped with all kinds of sensors that collect aerial information and transmit it to associated ground stations. There is still a debate as to whether they will also be armed.
The Reapers are assigned to 306 Squadron at Leeuwarden Air Base. The first period after the Reaper is delivered is used there for testing and evaluation. The drones are expected in Leeuwarden at the end of this year. 306 Squadron is expected to be able to operate MQ-9 in 2023.
With the video below, the Air Force announced the Reaper’s arrival on Wednesday:
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