The Predator B is a larger and more powerful derivative of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.’s (GA-ASI) successful RQ/MQ-1 Predator multi-mission UAV. Development was begun as a private venture in 1998, but was eventually funded by NASA. The first flight of the prototype occurred in February 2001
Photo: General Atomics
Predator B (YMQ-9A)
The Predator B is essentially a scaled-up derivative of the RQ/MQ-1 Predator, the major difference in layout being the more conventional upward V-tail. GA-ASI has flown Predator B prototypes with two different powerplants, the first one with a Honeywell TPE-331-10T turboprop and the second one with a Williams FJ44-2A turbofan. The basic equipment suite of the Predator Bis similar to that of the RQ/MQ-1 Predator, and the primary mission equipment consists of a Raytheon AN/AAS-52(V) MTS (Multi-Spectral Targeting System) EO/IR sensor turret/laser designator and a General Atomics AN/APY-8 Lynx SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar). The Predator B can also be used as an armed multi-mission UAV, launching AGM-114C/K Hellfiremissiles and other guided weapons. The Predator B is compatible with the ground-based communications equipment of the MQ-1B Predator system, so that it can supplement and/or replace the latter relatively seamlessly
Photo: General Atomics Predator B (YMQ-9A)
After the U.S. Air Force had successfully “weaponized” its RQ-1 Predator, it became interested in the more powerful Predator B. In February 2003, the designation MQ-9A was allocated to the turboprop-powered variant of the Predator B (the USAF was not interested in the turbofan version), and later that year two YMQ-9A prototypes were purchased. These aircraft are being evaluated by the Air Force, and at least four additional more airframes have been delivered so far. Current orders cover at least 20 MQ-9 aircraft, and the planned total production is 60 airframes. The YMQ-9A has significantly higher performance than the original Predator. It has a mission endurance of 24 hours at a maximum altitude of 13700 m (45000 ft), and GA-ASI claims a total endurance of up to 30 hours. In 2006, the USAF assigned the official “popular name” Reaper to the MQ-9 UAV.
Photo: Kaston/Skyshadow YMQ-9A
Photo: Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr., USAF MQ-9A
Length 10.97 m (36 ft 0 in) Wingspan 20.12 m (66 ft 0 in) Height 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in) Weight max: 4540 kg (10000 lb); empty: 1380 kg (3050 lb) Speed > 405 km/h (220 knots) Ceiling 15200 m (50000 ft) Endurance > 24 h Propulsion Honeywell TPE-331-10T turboprop; 670 kW (900 sh
Everyone predicted this… afterall Obama is dealing American Predators to the Turks. The Turks have no reason to deal with Israel as a friend if they see Obama treating Israel so poorly.
Turkey is playing us well. The have their chips all in the right place at the right time. Friends with Syria in fair weather and then a backstab… in fact it appears that Ankara is planning a Syrian overthrow of Assad.
Erdogan is cooperating with a NATO missile shield in exchange for weapons that he will use against his Kurds and will use against the Jews in Israel. This appears to be upsetting the Iranians.
…but Turkey isn’t scared of Iran. Iran needs Turkey more then Turkey needs Iran… and Turkey is benefitting by unscrupulous dealings between Iran and NATO. There is no incentive for this behavior to stop
They had some before, but relations were rocky.