There has been lot questions asked about the USAF decision to opt for MQ-9 Reaper rather that the most used and successful UAV , MQ-1 Predator.The prime reason for doing so is nothing but simple update to a better drone.
MQ-1 Predator used in several operations in Iraq,Afghanistan,Pakistan,Philippines etc and its been mostly successful.But there is necessity for more.
It is true that MQ-1 is good for Surveillance but it is less effective for Offensive purposes as its Engine power is very low compared to Manned flying objects and MQ-1 carries less Arms.
MQ-1 can carry only two Laser Guided Hell Fire Missiles which is very less and its Range ,loitering time is very comparing to that of Modern Day UAV.
In Order to Overcome these issues USAF moved to MQ-9 Reaper which has better Engine,so that it can carry much more Ammunition similar to Manned Flying Objects which is an ideal choice for Surveillance and Offensive operations.
None the less both are great Drones which serviced USAF for a period of time and considered as Great engineering marvels in field of Military Engineering.
The Only difference between the two is Engine and the impact caused by the Engines.
Technical Comparison Between MQ-1 Predator Vs MQ-9 Reaper
|MQ-1 Predator||MQ-9 Reaper|
|Duty||Mainly for Surveillance ,for defense and Navigation Purposes.||Used Main for Offence,Mark the target and destroy the target|
|Engine||Rotax 914F four-cylinder engine||Honeywell TPE331-10GD turboprop engine|
|Engine Capacity(Horse Power)||115||900|
|Length of the Wings(Metre)||16.8||20.1|
|Length of the Drone(Metre)||8.22||11|
|Height of the Drone(Metre)||2.1||3.8|
|Weight of Drone without any external load(Kg)||512 kilograms||2223|
|Maximum Weight Endurance during Takeoff(Kg)||1,020||4,760|
|Maximum Operating Speed(Kmh)||218||370|
|Armament||two laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles||combination of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions|
|Crew Members from Remote Base Stations||two||two|
|Unit cost which includes 4 Aircraft,sensors and Base Station Control Kits||€19 million||€61 million|