Reaper UAV upgrades would substantially extend flight time

The Air Force’s premier armed unmanned aerial vehicle would be able to fly for nearly two days straight if upgrades proposed by its manufacturer, General Atomics, were made to the Reaper MQ-9 fleet, reports David Axe at Wired's Danger Room blog.

The proposed upgrades include adding fuel pods, longer wings and stronger landing gear, the story said.

These three enhancements would boost Reaper endurance from 27 to 42 hours, which is significant because it would extend the unmanned aircraft's flight time just at the point when the Air Force is purchasing fewer UAVs because of budget constraints, the story said.

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