US Army: In World War II, both the Allies and the Germans had an order to fulfill in case of withdrawal or breakdown of their equipment: If they had to leave them behind, whatever it was – a tank, a radar system, an airplane, a control console-, the guideline to follow was to destroy them, sabotage them, blow them up so that the enemy could neither use them against them nor discover their weapons and technological secrets thanks to reverse technology.
Today only the technology and the names on the map change. But the orders remain the same: Blow it up so that it does not fall into enemy hands.
Drone MQ-9A, codename: ‘REAPER’
Last year, on June 24, 2020, the United States Army Air Force lost one of its drones during a mission to an “undisclosed location” somewhere on the African continent. The drone was an MQ-9A, known as ‘Reaper’, and for many years the most secret and successful weapon in the USA, successor to the legacy of stealth aircraft such as the F-117 Stealthfighter. A military jewel for modern warfare that is worth no less than 11 million dollars, 9 million euros at the exchange.
But, in a declassified report on the accident and made public at the beginning of this month of June, and that you can read in full at this link, another story is told: One in which the Reaper is crashed on purpose, basically throwing $ 11 million. to the desert sand. Why? By the same guideline of the Second World War and other conflicts.
Crashed on purpose
Air Force officials discovered that the drone had a fuel leak and was unable to return to its base safely. Rather than gently guiding the drone to the ground, the service ordered the remote Reaper crew to smash it to the ground “hard.” That way, it would be nearly impossible for someone to recover sensitive items, such as sensors or weapons, from the crash site.
The incident took place on June 24, 2020 in the United States’ African Command area of responsibility. The Africa Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany, covers almost the entire African continent, with the exception of Egypt. The accident report does not mention where the incident specifically occurred, but US forces are known to conduct operations in North Africa and the Horn of Africa region.
According to the report, the MQ-9A Reaper – assigned to the 214th Strike Group (“Black Sheep”), 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard – took off on June 23 at approximately 7:05 p.m. local time from an undisclosed location. . The report merely describes the drone’s mission as an “operational mission.” Reaper drones, armed with Hellfire missiles or Paveway laser-guided bombs, typically carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; armed surveillance; or attack.