September 22, 2017

COUNTER-TERROR WARFARE IN MALI AND NIGER: France arms its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with Hellfires.

France began using the Reaper UAV in Africa in 2014 but they were unarmed. The Reapers are built to handle hot and dusty conditions and have about twice the readiness and over five times the endurance of the Tigers. The French Reapers would often find Islamic terrorists in Mali but by the time a Tiger helicopter, a fixed wing warplane (equipped with smart bombs) or ground troops could arrive the Islamic terrorists were often no longer vulnerable to attack. Meanwhile the Americans had been using Hellfire armed Reapers and smaller Predators throughout Africa and the Middle East regularly for nearly two decades.

Finding them is good, finishing them quickly is better.

Here’s a photo of a Reaper taking off on a night mission in Afghanistan.

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