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Granted, this is a short-range AIM-9X missile, but maybe AMRAAM, etc is on the horizon?
by Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven
(Washington, D.C.) The combat-tested Air Force Reaper drone can attack terrorists, destroy enemy tanks and target fixed infrastructure with precision-guided Hellfire missiles. It can even find high-value targets and quickly network warzone video and data to decision makers on the ground. But what about air-to-air combat? Welcome to the future. The Reaper is about to come a fighter plane.
The MQ-9 Reaper has now successfully destroyed a drone cruise missile target with the well-known and highly effective AIM-9X precision air-to-air missile. The AIM-9X fires from the F-35 as well as the F-22 and has in recent years been upgraded with improved precision-guidance technologies and “off boresight” targeting, enabling pilots to destroy enemy targets behind the aircraft. This is quite significant, as “off-boresight” technology can actually guide the AIM -9X to turn around and change course while in-flight using a pilot’s helmet-mounted cueing system. This massively expands the Reaper’s target envelope.
“Sept. 3, 2020, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The MQ-9 successfully employed a live air-to-air test of an AIM-9X Block 2 missile against a target BQM-167 drone simulating a cruise missile,” an Air Force report said.
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