Two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air vehicles have demonstrated the system’s ability to track missiles, during ballistic defence testing in Hawaii. The test was carried out in late June, during the Pacific Dragon exercise at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai: a multilateral ballistic missile defence training event involving the US Navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and the South Korean navy. General Atomics says the specific Reaper element of the testing was carried out under a contract awarded by the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), and involved the UAVs using their Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System-B electro-optical/infrared turret to detect and track ballistic missile targets. “The test provided valuable data in our ongoing effort to develop an effective airborne missile defence capability,” Linden Blue, the chief-executive of the company, says. The MDA is exploring the use of UAVs in missile defence as a more flexible and low-cost option for intercepting ballistic weapons.
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