A U.S. Marine Corps component has used the MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aircraft system, built by General Atomics, to perform in-theater operations and as a proof of concept for the service branch's Marine Aviation Plan.
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 deployed the UAS in reponse to an "urgent" requirement for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability in Afghanistan during the past year, General Atomics said Thursday.
The company noted that MQ-9A has logged more than 4,800 flight hours over a 12-month direct support reconnaissance mission.
VMU-1 received the 2018 Unmanned Aircraft Squadron of the Year award from the Marine Corps Aviation Association.
David Alexander, president of General Atomics' aeronautics systems business, said the company will work with the squadron as the Marine Corps "transitions its Company Owned/Company Operated MQ-9A contract to a Government Owned/Government Operated contract in the coming year."