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December 13, 2017
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January 2, 2018
USAF retires MQ-1 in summer 2018

The U.S. Air Force will retire the MQ-1 this summer, Air Force Times reports.  The Air Force has already begun transitioning from the MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft to the MQ-9 Reaper, but the Predator will be officially retired by summer 2018. Airmen have flown the Predator for the past 21 years, but the Reaper can fly faster and carry more munitions, according to the Defence Department. In the past, RPAs were mostly used for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, but current threats require more precise close-air support.  The Reaper, boasts a nearly 4,000-pound payload.

 

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