Air Force Reaper Missions set to increase

The tip-off is found on FedBizOps.gov, the government’s site for contractors where the Air Force announced Tuesday it is seeking “industry input on how best to support Air Combat Command’s remotely piloted aircraft missions.” “Support will consist of aircraft, ground control station, and Predator Primary Satellite Link maintenance, weapons loading for both aircraft, [and] munitions build-up for MQ-9 aircraft,” the announcement says, referring to the Reaper drone which has a 66-foot wingspan and can carry a 500-pound laser guided bomb.

A timetable included in the announcement says that the Reapers are now launched from two locations and carry out five sorties per day.  The Air Force anticipates that activity will double in 2013 to four locations and 14 sorties a day. By 2015, the scope of the Reaper program is expected to double again to nine locations carrying out 46 sorties a day. By 2016, the plan is that Reapers will be launched from 11 locations carrying out 66 sorties per day.

Salon

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