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Dubai Airshow 2023: How the MQ-9 Reaper UAS came to rule the skies

10th November 2023 - 15:53 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


The long-endurance MQ-9A Reaper UAS has been in service with the US Air Force, US Navy, US Department of Homeland Security and a number of European armed forces. (Photo: US Air Force/DoD)

Ahead of the 2023 edition of the Dubai Airshow, Shephard looks at the GA-ASI MQ-9A Reaper UAS, its role in shaping modern conflict dynamics, and its deployment for surveillance and precision strike throughout the Middle East.

In the realm of modern warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A UAS stands as a prime example of technological innovation and strategic capability. 

Multiple US Reapers are currently circling above Gaza in response to Israeli strikes and ongoing military operations, according to information provided by US officials to Reuters. These aerial missions are said to be a component of a broader initiative aimed at aiding the identification and location of hostages.

In this backgrounder, Shephard embarks on an exploration of the MQ-9A Reaper's evolution, spanning from its inception to development, and delving into its

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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