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Air National Guard Equips New Comms, Targeting Pods on Reaper Aircraft

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MQ-9 Reaper
MQ-9 Reaper

Air National Guard partnered with entities from other sectors to update the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system with new features.

Reaper units used by the 174th Attack Wing now have new equipment for updated communications and target identification capabilities, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday.

The new features come with three pods equipable to Reaper: the REAP Pod, the Centerline Avionics Bay Pod and the Freedom pod.

The 174th Operations Support Squadron's assistant director of operations said his team is conducting operational assessments of the new pods.

Demonstrations of the new pods commenced on Monday and will run through May 14 under U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's Northern Edge exercise in Alaska. The tests focus on the pod-equipped Reaper's integrated performance with different ground-based and airborne assets.