08/07/2020

House defense spending bill would give the MQ-9 Reaper drone a second life

House defense spending bill would give the MQ-9 Reaper drone a second life – link

Source: Defense News

Article Headlines

  • The House Appropriations Committee is aiming to resuscitate the MQ-9 Reaper program, which the Air Force wants to curtail in fiscal 2021
  • The committee’s version of the FY21 spending bill, which its defense subcommittee will deliberate Wednesday in a closed hearing, would allocate $344 million for 16 MQ-9 Reaper drones
  • The language is a good sign for the aircraft’s manufacturer, General Atomics, which stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales if the Air Force stopped buying the aircraft
  • The service in FY20 had planned to buy nine MQ-9s in FY21, 17 in FY22, two in FY23 and three in FY24, but zeroed out all plans to buy additional Reaper drones as part of its FY21 budget request
  • However, the Reaper isn’t home free just yet. The Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to unveil its own version of the legislation, leaving it unclear whether the Senate will concur with the House committee’s spending bill

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