General Atomics continues to hint to its own government that they are ready to supply heavy reconnaissance MQ-9 Reaper UAVs in Ukraine. For the first time, the company spoke about it in November 2022, and now two MQ-9 Reaper are being offered for a dollar (one dollar!), according to The Wall Street Journal. But of course, there are nuances.
In order to get UAVs for just $1, Ukraine has to pay about $10 million for the preparation and delivery of drones and about $8 million for maintenance and support. The proposal will include a UAV ground management that can be deployed anywhere and even outside Ukraine.
In any case, it is a very good offer, because the price tag on the new MQ-9 Reaper, which in the base version cost about $10 million in 2007, has now reached $32 million for the latest versions of UAV.
This proposal is said to be made by the General Atomics executive director Lynden Blue to Ukraine’s military attaché in Washington last week. But… US and Ukraine governments do not comment on this information, and without the agreement with the Pentagon, it is simply impossible to supply any American weapon.
“We believe that Ukraine needs the opportunities that Reaper provides and needs them in the near future. General Atomics has discussed the needs of Ukrainian armed forces with the government for many months and continues to support Ukraine in any possible way,” says General Atomics spokesman Mark Brinkley, but does not comment on rumors of a possible deal.
Well, we will hope that President Biden’s “no” about the F-16 fighters will turn into “yes!” about the UAV MQ-9 Reaper. Of course, these are completely different lethal devices with other functions, but as they say, it is difficult at the start, but it will get easier with time.
General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper specifications
Crew – 2 at the ground station
Length – 11 m
Wingspan – 20 m
Height – 3.81 m
Empty weight – 2,223 kg
Maximum take-off weight – 4,760 kg
Weight of the fuel – 1,800 kg
Carrying capacity – 1,700 kg
Powerplant – 1 × Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop
Power – 900 hp. (671 kW)
Maximum speed – 482 km/h
Cruising speed – 313 km/h
Range – 1,900 km
Endurance – 14 hours
Maximum operating ceiling – 15,420 m
Working altitude – 7,500 m