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The US unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 will start operating in Estonia for the first time

In cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces and in support of Baltic region allies and partner nations, U.S. Air Forces in Europe has temporarily relocated MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, personnel and support equipment assigned to the 52nd Expeditionary Operations Group Detachment 2 to Ämari Air Base, Estonia until the end of July.

The aircraft will support Air, Land and Maritime Domain Awareness by leveraging the MQ-9’s inherent multi-role capabilities and support RPA Agile Combat Employment concepts.

The MQ-9 Reaper aircraft are temporarily moving from Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland, while Miroslawiec AB’s runway is under construction.

“We are pleased to welcome our allies in Ämari. Drones are a hot topic today, and the implementation of drones to aviation culture is about laying a new foundation, ”said Colonel Rauno Sirk, Commander of the Estonian Air Force. According to him, the biggest challenge is to integrate drones into daily aviation activities.

The aircraft have been operating out of Poland since May 2018. The operations aim to promote stability and security within the region and strengthen relationships with NATO allies and other European partners. In the past, the Reapers have been deployed to Romania.

The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset.

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