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UAE signs deal to purchase 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones and more

According to Reuters, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly signed two deals with the United States to purchase 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones and 50 F-35 fighter jets. It is also reported that one of the deals was signed right before Biden officially took office, prompting him to look over the deal.

Reuters attained information from sources who shared that the deal is expected to see the order go through no sooner than 2027.

It was also shared that this deal was a part of an agreement the United States made with the country, which said it would allow it to purchase the aircraft if it normalized its relations with Israel.

The two deals, one for the jets and the other for the drones, are a part of the United Arab Emirates’ effort to modernize its military while receiving high-tech equipment to protect itself better. The drone deal is also the largest of its kind for a single country to purchase so many drones at a single time.

MQ-9 Reaper

The MQ-9 Reaper, commonly known as the Predator B, has a maximum flight speed of 300 miles per hour and a cruising speed of 194 miles per hour. The drone can stay in the air for up to 14 hours when fully loaded, thanks to the Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engineer pumping out 900 horsepower.

The Reaper holds a combined payload weight of 3,800 pounds, with 800 pounds of it being stored internally and the other 3,000 pounds external. The drone has seven hardpoints that allow various ammunitions to be mounted to it and can accommodate a maximum of four Hellfire missiles, soon to be eight, and two Paveway 2 laser-guided bombs.

You can read more of our coverage of the MQ-9 Reaper below:

Photo: Leslie Pratt



Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.