General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. won a contract for $10,250,000 modified contract through the Foreign Military Sales Program to cover the Italian purchase of MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. So far, $5,022,500 of that contract has been obligated.
The contract is in response to an Italian request last August for four Reapers, over 5 years, including ground stations, for $300 million. The Italian Air Force currently operates RQ-1A Predators in its 32nd Wing’s 28 Squadron at Amendola.
The Reaper is the follow-on to the Predator, a “hunter-killer” UAV that can carry over 1,000 pounds of ordnance and stay “on station” for as long as 48 hours. 28 have been built thus far, the first deploying in 2007.