General Atomics tapped for French MQ-9 drone support

Dec. 5 (UPI) — The Air Force has awarded General Atomics $26.7 million for French air force MQ-9 logistics services.

The work comes after an option on a previously awarded contract was exercised, and announced on Tuesday by the Department of Defense. The contract falls under Foreign Military Sales and is expected to run through December 2019. The sale involved is exclusively for France.

The MQ-9 SkyGuardian, also known as the Reaper, is a development of the MQ-1 Predator. It is a much larger platform and able to carry bigger payloads of sensors and heavier weapons.

The drone is designed for attack missions, precision strikes against high-value targets, surveillance, air support and reconnaissance.

The Reaper has a range of over 1,100 miles and extended loiter time for patrols and surveillance. It carries the advanced Multi-Spectral Targeting System for target detection, surveillance and strike missions.

The MSTS includes infrared cameras, laser designators,

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