Predator Out, Reaper In

The Air Force isn’t buying any more Predator MQ-1 killer-scout unmanned aerial vehicles, but it will up its fleet of MQ-9 hunter-killer UAVs by 24 aircraft, per its Fiscal 2010 budget. The Defense Department overall wants to achieve 50 Predator-class surveillance orbits by 2011. Unexplained is what happens to the vaunted MC-12 “Liberty” intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance airplane; 24 were funded in Fiscal 2009, but USAF requested none in 2010.