F-15E Helped Bring Down Errant MQ-9

: There is now coming to light more information about an incident that took place nearly a year ago in which an F-15E used a missile to shoot down an MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft over Afghanistan. The engagement occurred on Sept. 13, 2009, after ground controllers back in the US lost contact with the Reaper and it ventured on its own towards the border with Tajikistan. The Air Force announced the incident last September, giving few details. A New York Times report this week, citing Pentagon documents disclosed by WikiLeaks, provides more information. According to the newspaper, repeated attempts to regain control of the armed MQ-9 were unsuccessful, prompting the dispatch of an F-15E from Bagram Airfield as a last resort to bring the Reaper down before it ventured into Tajik airspace. The F-15E fired an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile that took out the Reaper’s engine. The MQ-9 controller, having regained control at the last minute, then purposely steered the Reaper into a remote Afghan mountainside, where it crashed.