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French Reaper crashes in Niger

France has lost its first General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper remote piloted aircraft while operating from its Niger airbase on Saturday.


At around 1:00 am (Paris time), contact with the Reaper and Niamey Air Base was lost, while return…

France has lost its first General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper remote piloted aircraft while operating from its Niger airbase on Saturday.


At around 1:00 am (Paris time), contact with the Reaper and Niamey Air Base was lost, while returning from a surveillance mission as a part of the Operation Barkhan, a ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa's Sahel region by France, which commenced in August 2014.

The drone crashed in a desert area a few kilometers from the runway, without causing any casualties on ground. The exact reasons for this accident are not known. An investigation to determine the causes is open.


This is the first accident of a French Reaper drone, since its commissioning in January 2014 in to Air Force. The Six aircraft French Reaper fleet had flown more than 23,000 hours since being put into operational service.

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