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Royal Netherlands Air Force doubles order for MQ-9A Reaper drones

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has doubled its order of customised MQ-9A remotely piloted aircraft from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has doubled its order of customised MQ-9A remotely piloted aircraft from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The RNLAF has taken its total order from four to eight aircraft after the first four MQ-9A Block 5 Reapers and associated ground control stations were delivered in 2022.

MQ-9A Block 5 unmanned aerial vehicle provides long-endurance, persistent surveillance for up to 27 hours, is capable of speeds up to 240 knots, and can operate up to 40,000 feet.

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It also features full-motion video and synthetic aperture radar/moving target indicator/maritime radar, supported by ground control stations.

“We’re thrilled that the first set of Dutch Reapers have made such a positive impact on the RNLAF,” said GA-ASI president David R Alexander.

“With this new set of capabilities, the Netherlands will have the most capable set of MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft in the world.

“They have customised the Dutch MQ-9As to meet the Netherlands’ expanding mission set.”

RNLAF 306 squadron commander Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Ruedisueli, whose squadron operates the new MQ-9A Reapers, said the double order alongside the addition of new electronic intelligence external pods, communications relay and maritime radar will increase maritime and overland intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance.

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