General Atomics introduces the lightweight Eaglet airborne drone intended for high intensity

Since the entry into service of the first MALE MQ-1 Predator drone in the US Air Force in 1995, the role of these aircraft piloted from the ground and equipped with an autonomy of more than 24 hours has not stopped growing. in world armies. Now, most of the world's major armies use this type of drone, or its successor the MQ-9 Reaper, to carry out intelligence and sometimes strike missions in low-intensity theaters, as was the case during the Iraqi campaigns. and Afghans for the United States, or for Operation Barkhane in the Sahel for the French armies.…

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General Atomics presents an on-board version of its MALE MQ-9B SkyGuardian drone

Over the past two decades, Medium Altitude Long Endurance combat drones, or MALE, such as the famous MQ-1 Predator from the American General Atomics, and its successor the MQ-9A Reaper, have profoundly changed air-land combat. Endowed (as the name suggests) with a long endurance of the order of 30 hours for the Reaper, these devices can patrol and survey huge areas thanks to advanced Electro-optical systems, and strike targets with air-to-surface munitions such as the AGM-114 Hellfire missile and the GBU-38 JDAM guided bomb. While their effectiveness in high-intensity combat remains to be determined due to significant vulnerability, and this…

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US Navy experiments with drone to hunt submarines

Anti-submarine warfare is one of the most complex disciplines of modern warfare. Faced with the immensity of the 3-dimensional ocean, submarines, frigates, destroyers, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft play a game of cat and mouse, where the first to see the other wins, and the other dies. Maritime patrol aircraft have profoundly changed this war since their appearance during the Second World War, bringing the threat beyond the detection perimeter of escort ships, by coordinating with them to track down and destroy the adversary. At that time, hunting for a submarine from an aircraft…

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India orders 6 MQ-9B Guardian drone systems from US

The American General Atomics will not have taken long to recover from the semi-disappointment of seeing the Franco-German couple definitively commit to the Eurodrone program, and not to its MQ-9B Guardian. Indeed, the Defense Acquisition Council, the organization that validates the existence of a need requiring the import of military equipment in India, has just published an "Acceptance of Necessity" worth import authorization for 6 drone systems MQ-9B Guardian for a budget of $600m, with an option on 24 other systems over the next 3 years, with a potential overall budget of $3bn. According to information published by indiatoday.in, this…

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Reaper drone successor will be stealthy and have even increased stamina

While the Europeans are still struggling to find out whether to finance the Eurodrone program or to rely once again on the United States for what concerns the critical field of combat drones, the American company General Atomics, the designer of the drone Predator and its successor the Reaper, presented a sketch of what will be its next model, intended to replace the two previous ones following the request for information from the US Air Force. And the least we can say is that American engineers have not hesitated to reinvent themselves to meet the operational challenges of the next decade. Because if…

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As the Eurodrone stagnates, the US Air Force prepares the successor to the famous MQ-9 Reaper

Last March, the head of acquisitions of the United States Air Force, Will Roper, announced before the United States Congress that the USAF wanted to stop the production of MQ-9 Reaper drones from 2022. As we explained in a detailed article at the time, this premature cessation of Reaper deliveries should make it possible to finance a new family of more or less complex drones capable of resuming both ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) missions and strike operations in currently assigned to the Reapers, while extending the spectrum of missions that can be entrusted to unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Today, a first...

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The US Air Force requests competitive bids for the F-15EX Advanced Eagle engines

Faced with the delays and operational limitations of the F-35 (especially in terms of range and payload), the American air force seems particularly keen on replacing its oldest F-15C Eagles with… new F-15s. Indeed, if the US Air Force maintains its objective of acquiring 1700 F-35 single-engine aircraft from Lockheed Martin, it also intends to integrate into squadrons one or two hundred F-15EX Advanced Eagle, a new variant of the F-15 Eagle twin-engine from Boeing. Until now, it seemed agreed that the USAF Advanced Eagles would be equipped with the same engines as the latest F-15 variants exported to South Korea, Singapore or…

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US Air Force B-52H bombers to exceed 100 years of operational career with new engines

On April 23, the US Air Force issued a draft request for proposal for the acquisition of no less than 608 commercial aircraft engines. This last step before the publication of the call for tenders will allow manufacturers to better prepare their proposals. Although the project is a year late, the US Air Force hopes to make rapid progress on the re-engining program for its B-52H Stratofortress, considered strategic for maintaining its operational capabilities. Evoked since the end of the Cold War, the change of engines of the B-52 has been constantly postponed by the US Air Force, the heavy bomber…

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US Air Force prepares to replace MQ-9 Reaper with next-generation drone family

Along with its predecessor the MQ-1 Predator, the MQ-9 Reaper is the most iconic American drone of the past twenty years. Used by the USAF and the CIA, exported to the United Kingdom, Italy and France, this reconnaissance and attack drone alone evokes the asymmetrical nature of the Afghan, Iraqi and African conflicts led by the United States. and their allies. However, since the mid-2010s, the American armed forces have once again found themselves confronted with high-intensity threats, whether from Russia or China. In such a context, the MQ-9 Reaper appears as a…

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Will drones soon replace fighter planes?

The week, charismatic Tesla and SpaceX company chairman Elon Musk stunned the audience of Air Force Association fighter pilots when he said the replacement of pilots and traditional fighter jets with drones was inescapable. in a relatively short time. According to him, the mass of information to be processed by a pilot in ever shorter delays, associated with the physiological constraints of the human body, make the concept of piloted combat aircraft obsolete, and point to a single and unique solution, their disappearance in favor of unmanned systems, combat drones. And the presentation of the “Defender” concept…

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