A new software update on the MQ-9 Reaper allows the hunter-killer drone to carry eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles — double its usual capacity, according to a service release.
As part of “Operational Flight Program 2409,” members of the 556th Test and Evaluation month with the increased payload. The MQ-9 typically carries four Hellfires total under its wings. Squadron, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, flew the unmanned autonomous vehicle earlier this
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With the upgrade, Hellfires pylons that previously were reserved for 500-lb. bombs, such as the GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition, or for fuel tanks, can now carry the additional missiles, the release said.
“History has proven the MQ-9’s ability to provide aerial continuity and attack support for air and ground forces during counter-insurgency and Close Air Support,” Lt. Col. Michael Chmielewski, commander of the 556th