March 17, 2015: MQ-9 Reaper Successfully Destroyed a Remotely Controlled Target Using Hellfire Missile Published March 17, 2021 26th Weapons Squadron EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida -- An MQ-9 Reaper (remotely piloted aircraft) assigned to the 26th Weapons Squadron (stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada) successfully destroyed a remotely controlled target vessel at sea with an AGM-114 Hellfire missile during a joint exercise over the Eglin water range. The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF). The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the USAF to indicate their human ground controllers. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. In 2006, the then–Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley said: "We've moved from using UAVs primarily in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper." The MQ-9 is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than the earlier General Atomics MQ-1 Predator; it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower turboprop engine (compared to the Predator's 115 horsepower piston engine. The greater power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance payload and cruise at about three times the speed of the MQ-1. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS), including weapons employment. The Air-to-Ground Missile-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile first developed for anti-armor use, but later models were developed for precision drone strikes against other target types, and have been used in a number of actions aimed to "destroy high-value targets." It was originally developed under the name Heliborne laser, fire-and-forget missile, which led to the colloquial name "Hellfire" ultimately becoming the missile's formal name. It has multi-mission, multi-target precision-strike ability, and can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms, including the Predator drone. The Hellfire missile is the primary 100-pound class air-to-ground precision weapon for the armed forces of the United States and many other nations.