Dec 152011
Predator Drone

MQ-9 Reaper Taking Off






Manufacturer:  General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (San Diego)

Model:  General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (Formerly Predator B)

Type: Unmanned combat air vehicle

Introduced: May 1, 2007

Payload: 3,800 lbs

Engine: 950 hp turboprop

Range: 3,200 nautical miles and 50,000 ft

Max Speed: 300 mph

Cost: $30 million/plane  ($154 million for system including 4 aircraft)

Number Built: 57

Used By: United States,  United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy

Trivia:  U.S. Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley said, “We’ve moved from using UAVs primarily in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper.”

MQ-9 Reaper Flying

Dec 082011

USS Ward (DD-139)

Country:United States

Builder: Mare Island Navy Yard

Class: Wickes-class Destroyer

Commissioned: 24 July 1918

Re-commissioned: January 15, 1941

Displacement :1,267 tons

Length: 314 ft

Propulsion:  2 x geared turbines

Speed: 35 knots

Compliment: 231

Armament: 4 inch (100mm)/55 caliber guns (4), 3 inch (76mm)/50 caliber anti-aircraft guns (2)

21 inch(530 mm) torpedo tubes (12)

Trivia:  On December 7, 1941, the Ward was patrolling outside of Pearl Harbor when she encountered a Japanese mini-submarine. At first,  the captain was going to ram the conning tower of the sub, but then decided to fire instead and sunk the sub.  Those shots were the first American shots in WWII.  Three years later, on December 7th, 1944, the Ward was sunk by a Kamikaze.

USS Ward 4 inch Gun at Minnesota State Capitol