Designated MQ-9 Reaper® by its U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force customers, the turboprop-powered, multi-mission Predator® B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) was developed with GA-ASI funding and provides significantly greater capabilities than Predator. First flown in 2001, Predator B is a highly sophisticated development built on the experience gained with the company's battle-proven Predator RPA and is a major evolutionary leap forward in overall performance and reliability.
Featuring unmatched operational flexibility, Predator B has an endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, can operate up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1746 kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1361 kilograms) of external stores. Twice as fast as Predator, the aircraft carries 500% more payload and has nine times the horsepower. It provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance/strike capability for the war fighter.
An extremely reliable aircraft, Predator B is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.
Predator B is powered by the flight-certified and proven Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine, integrated with Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC), which significantly improves engine performance and fuel efficiency, particularly at low altitudes.
The aircraft is highly modular and is configured easily with a variety of payloads to meet mission requirements. Predator B is capable of carrying multiple mission payloads to include: Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Lynx® Multi-mode Radar, multi-mode maritime surveillance radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), laser designators, and various weapons packages.
Predator B continues to improve and evolve, making it more relevant for its customers' emerging needs. A new variant, Predator B ER, has been designed with field-retrofittable capabilities such as wing-borne fuel pods and a new reinforced landing gear that extends the aircraft's already impressive endurance from 27 hours to 34 hours while further increasing its operational flexibility. In 2016, the aircraft will evolve again when its wingspan will grow from 66 feet to 79 feet to hold the fuel that was previously stored in the fuel pods. This configuration will deliver 42 hours of endurance.
This aircraft has been acquired by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force, the French Air Force, and soon others.
- Triple-redundant flight control system
- Redundant flight control surfaces
- Remotely piloted or fully autonomous
- MIL-STD-1760 stores management system
- 7 external stations for carriage of payloads
- C-Band line-of-sight data link control
- Ku-Band Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS)/SATCOM data link control
- Over 90% system operational availability
- C-130 transportable (or self-deploys)