The MQ-9 Reaper’s Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC) was demonstrated by the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron on July 8, allowing pilots to detour to airbases without conventional launch and recovery equipment or people. This feature is a crucial factor for MQ-9 Agile Combat Employment, and it will transform how the MQ-9 is used in locations around the globe when coupled with the MQ-9’s next software update and the arrival of the portable aircraft control station. Historically, all MQ-9 takeoffs and landings necessitated the presence of trained launch and recovery personnel stationed near the Reaper’s targeted landing site.
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