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Another U.S. Drone Goes Down (MQ-9 Reaper)

Just what the United States needed: Another story of a crashed drone. That’s 2 U.S. drone crashes in two weeks!

A U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed in the U.S ally island nation of the Seychelles yesterday morning. The MQ-9 Reaper is a remotely operated aircraft that carries a number of high tech sensors and cameras. The crash happened at the international airport in the Seychelles capital of Mahe.

The U.S. Embassy in Mauritius said the unmanned U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper was not armed and that Tuesday’s crash caused no injuries. The crash sparked a fire that was quickly extinguished.

The Seychelles-based MQ-9s are used to monitor piracy activities in and around the Indian Ocean, don’t carry weapons, though they have the capability to do so.. Their pilots are actually thousands of miles away controlling them from a base. It has a range of 1,150 miles and can reach an altitude of about 50,000 feet. Its cruising speed is 230 mph.

The MQ-9 Reaper drone is capable of carrying Hellfire missiles or laser guided bombs.

The Seychelles is a U.S ally in the anti-terror and anti-piracy efforts in East Africa.

Along with providing increased security offshore of the islands, the aircraft and the drones can fly throughout the Gulf of Aden, and overfly Somalia. The Reaper is rumored to have been used for a number of attacks on Islamist militants in Somalia and Yemen.

Lina Laurence of Seychelles’ civilian aviation authority said the drone developed engine problems minutes into its flight and needed to land as soon as possible Tuesday morning. “But due to its accelerated landing speed, the aircraft was unable to stop before the runway’s end,” Laurence said.

It is unclear where the drone was flown from.

 

 

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