US Approves Sale of Four MQ-9A Reaper Drones to Netherlands

The State Department of United States (US) has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of the Netherlands of MQ-9A Reaper Block 5 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $611 million. 

The Government of the Netherlands has requested to buy up to four (4) MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft; up to three (3) UAV MQ-9 Mobile Ground Control Systems (MGCS); up to thirty (30) Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Internal Navigation Systems (EGI) devices, Airborne, with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) or M-Code; up to eight (8) AN/DAS-4 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems; and up to twenty (20) Lynx AN/APY-8 Synthetic Aperture Radars. 

Also included are Reaper Engines; Selex Seaspray Synthetic Aperture Radars; SeaVue Maritime Radars; M299 Hellfire Longbow missile launchers; AN/ARC-210 radios; Line-of-Site (LOS) Ground Data Terminals; Ruggedized Aircraft Maintenance Test Stations (RAMTS); AN/APX-119 and other Identification Friend or Foe transponders; KIV-77 Cryptographic Appliques; KY-100M narrowband / wideband terminals; AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders; satellite communications earth terminal subsystems (SETSS); spare parts, consumables, and accessories and repair and return support; secure communication equipment and cryptographic devices; major/minor modifications, maintenance, and maintenance support; munitions support and support equipment; unclassified software delivery and support; transportation support; unclassified publications and technical documentation; studies and surveys; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistic and program support.

The estimated total cost is $611 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.

Further, the proposed sale will improve the Netherlands’ capability to meet current and future threats. 

The MQ-9A aircraft will support Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions as well as Air Attack and Counter Maritime Operation tasks. 

The Netherlands already has MQ-9A aircraft in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.

The principal contractor will be General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Poway, CA.  There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of additional contractor or government representatives.


About MQ-9A Reaper Drones

The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).

The main objective of the drones are to perform multi-mission Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions over land or sea.

Featuring unmatched operational flexibility, MQ-9A has an endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, can operate up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1746 kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1361 kilograms) of external stores. The aircraft carries 500% more payload and has nine times the horsepower. It provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance/strike capability for the war fighter.

An extremely reliable aircraft, MQ-9A is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.

To date, the MQ-9A Reaper Drones has been acquired by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force, the French Air Force and the Spanish Air Force.


Wing Span: 66 ft (20m)

Length: 36 ft (11m)

Powerplant: Honeywell TPE331-10

Max Gross Takeoff Weight: 10,500 lb (4763 kg)

Fuel Capacity: 3,900 lb (1769 kg)

Payload Capacity: 850 lb int. (386 kg)

3,000 lb ext. (1361 kg)

Payloads: MTS-B EO/IR

Lynx Multi-mode Radar

Multi-mode maritime radar

Automated Identification System (AIS)


Communications relay

Power:  11.0 kW/45.0 kVA (Block 5) (redundant)


Max Altitude: 50,000 ft (15240m)

Max Endurance: 27 hr

Max Air Speed: 240 KTAS


  • Triple-redundant flight control system
  • Redundant flight control surfaces
  • Remotely piloted or fully autonomous
  • MIL-STD-1760 stores management system
  • 7 external stations for carriage of payloads
  • C-Band line-of-sight data link control
  • Ku-Band Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS)/SATCOM data link control
  • Over 90% system operational availability
  • C-130 transportable (or self-deploys)