> our title:

MQ-9 Shoots Down Aerial Target with Sidewinder Missile

> original title:

MQ-9 Gets First Air-to-Air Kill in Training Exercise, Air Force Official Says (excerpt)

(Source: Military.com; posted Sept 19, 2018)

By Oriana Pawlyk

Unmanned aircraft have long been used to attack ground targets with missiles, laser-guided bombs and rockets, but this is the first time that an unmanned aircraft has shot down another aircraft. (USN photo)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. --- An MQ-9 Reaper drone has bagged its first air-to-air kill of another small, aerial vehicle in a controlled simulation, an official revealed to Military.com this week.

The successful test late last year showed the U.S. Air Force that an unmanned vehicle like the MQ-9 has the ability to conduct air-to-air combat, much like its manned fighter brethren such as an F-15 Eagle or F-22 Raptor, according to Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

"Something that's unclassified but not well known, we recently in November … launched an air-to-air missile against a maneuvering target that scored a direct hit," Cheater said. Military.com sat down with Cheater here at the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber conference outside Washington, D.C.

"It was an MQ-9 versus a drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and it was direct hit … during a test," he said of the first-of-its-kind kill.

"We develop those tactics, techniques and procedures to make us survivable in those types of environments and, if we do this correctly, we can survive against some serious threats against normal air players out there," Cheater said Monday. "We will go participate in 'Red Flag' exercises, and we will drop weapons in testing environments to make sure that we can fight against those type of adversaries." (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Military.com website.