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MQ-9 "Reaper" drone aircraft killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani

Hunter-killer UAV designed for long-range surveillance

It was a General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" drone plane that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. The remotely operated unmanned aircraft (originally known as "Predator B") of the United States Air Force is one of the first hunter-killer UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) designed for long range, high altitude surveillance. The platform fired four missiles at two cars that were carrying Niru-ye Qods chief and other senior officials near Baghdad airport earlier today. The explosion was so violent that it was possible to identify the second most powerful man in Iran (and indicated by some sources as likely future president) only by the large ring he used to wear on his finger. Soleimani had just returned by plane from Syria. The "New York Times" said it was possible to launch the attack through a combination of highly secret intelligence information, eavesdropping, surveillance by reconnaissance aircraft and other techniques.

According to the Pentagon, "General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and across the region".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency