Although the assassination of major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans Holy City Brigade, is not the first time that the U. In fact, no matter in Iraq or Afghanistan, operations like this beheading mission, which integrates reconnaissance, tracking and combat, are one of the most important missions of MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
As a country with a large number of U.S. troops and even armed forces, Iraq was founded under the support of the U.S., and its sky was basically controlled by the U.S. air force. The MQ-9 reaper, which is based in Iraq and the control center is located in the United States, is a large-scale integrated observation and combat UAV in the middle and high altitude during long flight. Its main task in peacetime is to cruise and monitor for a long time over key areas, such as Baghdad International Airport, where all forces are mixed. In this assassination, because the U.S. military has mastered the whereabouts of major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans Holy City Brigade, he was followed by MQ-9 Reaper drone, who had been cruising at 9000 meters from getting off the plane to getting ready to leave the airport.
Among the UAVs, the MQ-9 Reaper UAV has excellent mount capability
MQ-9 Reaper UAV is equipped with an advanced an / aas-52mts-b multispectral aiming system under the nose, which can realize long-distance monitoring, high-altitude target acquisition, tracking and ranging of ground targets, and provide laser irradiation instructions for agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile. The system can not only carry out ground reconnaissance and surveillance in large field of view, but also realize high zoom in small field of view, so as to identify the ground personnel. In fact, its the same throughout the operation. The MQ-9 Reaper drone finally confirms its identity by obtaining high-definition video and images of major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans al Quds brigade. Until he got on the Toyota SUV, he followed it all the way.
Major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans Holy City Brigade and Iraqi officials who came to meet him, could not have been aware of the MQ-9 Reaper drone that was staring at him at an altitude of nearly ten thousand meters. General mohammadis, deputy commander of the 120000 strong peoples mobilization organization, the largest Shiite armed force in Iraq, even accompanied major general Sulaimani in person and took a Toyota SUV. They believe that even if the U.S. drone is overhead, they will never dare to deal with it. Its just that they never thought that President trump really dared to take the risk of completely infuriating Iran and Iraq and ordered the missile launch when the convoy was about to leave the airport.
In fact, we can find that the timing of Trumps attack instructions is also very clever. If major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans al Quds brigade, is assassinated in the airport, it may hurt Iraqi soldiers and destroy airport facilities. If the convoy leaves the airport completely, it is possible to use the terrain and buildings to quickly escape from the tracking of the MQ-9 Reaper UAV. Then, when the team is about to leave the airport to launch an attack, it can not only ensure to minimize the collateral damage, but also form the most powerful deterrent effect on Iran, which can be said to be more than one stroke.
In addition, we should also pay attention to the detail that at that time, one American Army AH-64D long bow Apache attack helicopter was on standby at the scene. If the MQ-9 Reaper drone fails to attack, or there are survivors after the attack, the AH-64D long bow Apache attack helicopter will use various weapons on board to repair guns. Therefore, even if major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans al Quds brigade, was able to evade the missile attack of MQ-9 Reaper drone at that time, it would be difficult to survive in the gunfire of AH-64D long bow Apache attack helicopter.
An / aas-52mts-b multispectral aiming system can realize remote monitoring and tracking of ground targets
Ammunition, tactics and ruthlessness of the United States
Although the MQ-9 Reaper drone is the protagonist of the operation, if there is no suitable precision guided ammunition, it can only watch the commander of Irans Holy City Brigade major general Sulaimani go. Therefore, one of the key points of the whole operation is the selection of precision guided munitions used in the attack. According to the usual weapon mounting mode of MQ-9 Reaper UAV, two gbu-12 gemstone Road II laser guided bombs and four agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missiles are generally used. In this operation, because MQ-9 Reaper UAV needs a long cruise flight, in order to increase its endurance, it should only mount four agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missiles. Whats more, MQ-9 Reaper drones are targeting fast-moving fleets, and using agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missiles is also a more sensible choice.
Although the United States is the first country in the world to equip and use the UAV, its active UAV ammunition still uses the original model, but does not use the new ammunition specially developed for UAV. However, judging from the development of agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile in recent years, it has been improving according to the use requirements of UAV.
MQ-9 Reaper UAV can mount auxiliary fuel tank according to task requirements
The original agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile was developed as helicopter borne anti tank ammunition. Since its service in the 1980s, agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile has developed more than two generations and ten models. Among them, the second-generation agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile, which entered service in 2000, is the main model used by the U.S. Army. In addition to the technical features of longer range, faster flight speed and stronger anti-jamming capability, the second generation agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile is also specially improved for the use requirements of UAV.
The first generation agm-114 Hellfire air-to-air missile was mainly developed for helicopter borne requirements, which did not initially consider the requirements of medium and high altitude operating environment. Therefore, the first generation of agm-114 Hellfire air-to-air missiles mounted on helicopters are launched in low altitude environment. If the height is more than 610 meters, it is difficult for the semi-active laser seeker to capture the illumination indication signal, and naturally it can not achieve the target locking. Then, to the second generation of agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile, the representative model is agm-114k. According to the requirements of high altitude flight in the UAV, the launching height is greatly increased to more than 4500m.
The launch altitude can basically meet the requirements of the first generation of the U.S. Air Forces MQ-1 predator UAV. However, with the emergence of the second generation of the air forces MQ-9 UAV, its maximum cruising altitude has risen to 15000 meters. This also means that if the agm-114k Hellfire air to ground missile is still used, the MQ-9 Reaper UAV must reduce its flight height to about 4500m or even lower when launching the missile. At this altitude, MQ-9 Reaper UAV is not only easier to be found by the enemy, but also within the range of some advanced portable air defense missiles and small caliber anti-aircraft guns. In addition, compared with the middle and high altitude, the wind direction of air flow at the height of 4500m is more complex, and it is also easy for the MQ-9 Reaper UAV to crash out of control.
After decades of development, agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile has developed many improved models
To this end, Lockheed Martin continues to improve the agm-114k Hellfire air to ground missile, and develops a high-altitude launch version that specifically meets the use requirements of MQ-9 Reaper UAV, which is agm-114p. The launch altitude of this type of missile is more than twice that of agm-114k Hellfire air to ground missile, so that MQ-9 Reaper UAV can launch at normal cruise flight altitude. In addition, according to Lockheed Martin, the agm-114p Hellfire air-to-air missile also has the ability to attack the target in 360 u00b0 all-round way and improve the damage efficiency by controlling the trajectory.
In addition, according to foreign media reports, the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone used two agm-114p Hellfire air to ground missiles of different warheads to attack major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans al Quds. From this we can see that the US militarys design of strike tactics and ammunition selection are ingenious.
After the order of attack was issued, MQ-9 Reaper UAV adopted a special blade warhead for the first agm-114 Hellfire air to ground missile launched by major general Sulaimani, commander of Irans Holy City Brigade, that is, a new type of Hellfire air to ground missile, which had been a sensation of the era r9x before. The missile broke through the roof of the Toyota SUV. Six sharp blades rotated at high speed in the vehicle, making the people in the vehicle completely unable to move.
In the past, the U.S. Army found that after agm-114p Hellfire air to ground missile hit the target vehicle and exploded in the vehicle, its 9 kg high explosive warhead was not enough to completely kill all personnel in the vehicle. In particular, if the missile explodes in the middle and rear of the vehicle, the front seat personnel may abandon the vehicle to escape. Therefore, the U.S. military chose to launch the first special agm-114 Hellfire air-to-air missile of the blade warhead, killing people in the vehicle, making it impossible for them to escape.
After that, MQ-9 Reaper launched the second conventional agm-114p Hellfire air to ground missile with high explosive warhead, which actually played the role of gun mending to ensure the loss of all personnel in the vehicle. The ruthlessness of the whole strike action can be seen from this.