U.S. Air Force to retire MQ-1 Predator drone in 2018: The U.S. Air Force is preparing to phase out its MQ-1 Predator drones in favor of an all-MQ-9 Reaper fleet in 2018.
The Predator's retirement will effectively conclude the unmanned aerial vehicle's 21 years of service with the Air Force. The platform supported intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the branch in addition to targeted strikes in enemy territory.
In a statement explaining the move, Air Force officials note the more modern MQ-9 Reaper is better equipped, and features overall superior operational capabilities.
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