A Reaper drone shot down another with a missile in an exercise, the US Air Force revealed yesterday.
The event, which took place last year and involved an unmanned target drone, was the first case of a drone shooting down another another aircraft.
According to Military.com, a MQ-9 Reaper launched a infrared guided air-to-air missile against “a manoeuvring target”, a smaller target drone. The missile scored a direct hit.
According to Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
“It was an MQ-9 versus a drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and it was direct hit … during a test,” he said of the first-of-its-kind kill. We develop those tactics, techniques and procedures to make us survivable in those types of environments and, if we do this correctly, we can survive against some serious threats against normal air players out there.
We will go participate in ‘Red Flag’ exercises, and we will drop weapons in testing environments to make sure that we can fight against those type of adversaries.”
The US Air Force regularly shoots down target drones, but this is the first time an unmanned aircraft has shot down another aircraft.