CURAÇAO: On the 20th of April, the Royal Netherlands Air Force successfully carried out its first MQ-9 Reaper flight from Hato airfield, Curaçao. The MQ-9 Reaper is a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) operated by pilots from a cockpit on the ground. It was the first time that a Dutch MQ-9 flew a training flight.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force will be training and conducting exercises in order to become familiarized with the new aircraft for airborne information gathering. The MQ-9 Reaper is deployed by the Commander of the Netherlands’ Forces in the Caribbean and will eventually become available to support civil authorities and for surveillance and investigation tasks. Some of these activities will be undertaken together with the United States, for example in counterdrug operations. The aircraft is used for reconnaissance and is unarmed.
If the test flights and training go well, the MQ-9 Reaper may also be deployed in other parts of the world.