The US Air Force recently conducted a successful test trial for the upgrade on the MQ-9 Reaper drone’s satellite communications (SATCOM).

According to a press release, the Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) led the test, in partnership with the 174th Attack Wing and 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, during exercise Northern Edge 2023 held at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. The demonstration aims to deploy the sophisticated drone on future intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions internationally, operating from remote US military bases, particularly in the Pacific region.

The SATCOM upgrade features advanced communication technology and sensors capable of transmitting critical data over long distances. Through this improvement, the Reaper drone can maintain its high altitude capabilities while ensuring the quality of its real-time intelligence gathering, which encompasses monitoring threat activities, positions, and movements.

After completing the enhanced trials, the drone will support ongoing operations worldwide, actively participate in critical training exercises, and undertake other missions aimed at strengthening and modernizing the military capacity of the US armed forces.