First Dutch Crews Fly MQ-9 Reaper
(Source: Royal Netherlands Air Force; issued Jan 17, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The first two MQ-9 crews of the Royal Netherlands Air Force have flown in the United States yesterday with the unmanned aircraft.

The n° 306 Squadron, at Leeuwarden Air Base, is expected to fly its own Reapers from 2020 onwards. Defense has ordered 4 unmanned aircraft systems.

Dutch airmen have been training as MQ-9 pilot and MQ-9 sensor operator at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico since December, and will probably graduate in May. A crew consists of a pilot and a sensor operator, who work from a Ground Control Station.

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Defense Purchases Four MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft
(Source: Royal Netherlands Air Force; issued July 17, 2018)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Defense has signed an agreement with the United States for the purchase of four MQ-9 Reapers. The signing took place today during the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

In 2015 the purchase was postponed, but thanks to the extra funds made available uby the current government the aircraft can now be purchased. The expectation is that the Reapers will arrive in the Netherlands from the summer of 2020.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a so-called MALE UAV (medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle).

This unmanned aircraft can be used 24 hours a day to approximately 13 kilometers high.

Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard and Director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency Lieutenant General Charles Hooper signed the Letter of Acceptance.

Can be used worldwide

The aircraft can be used worldwide for various observation missions. The collected information is used for intelligence products that can make a valuable contribution to military missions. It may also involve humanitarian operations or support to civilian authorities.

The agreement involves not only the aircraft, but also sensors such as cameras and ground stations. A MALE UAV system consists of four aircraft devices and 4 ground stations. Two ground stations are required for flights from the home base and two for take-off and landing from the deployment location. Contact between the different parts of the system is done by satellite connection.

The Reapers are assigned to n° 306 Squadron that is being reactivated and will operate from Leeuwarden Air Base.

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