Iran military commander Qassem Soleimani and his associate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed on Sunday by US airstrike, a move that President Donald Trump has termed ‘shutting down his dealings.’
In this week’s review, News 9 Kenya takes you through facts and findings about a drone that took down Soleimani and his associates.
It is an MQ9 Reaper drone manufactured by a company called General Atomics. The MQ9 Reaper is a marvel of aeronautical science and engineering.
Acting on intelligence that Soleimani would land in the middle of the night, it arrived in the vicinity of the Baghdad Airport before he landed and when he landed; its sophisticated imaging system kicked in and started transmitting his movements back to those who had sent it for analysis.
The Reaper drone came loaded with 2 Hellfire missiles all for the job.
A combination of a silent propeller engine, the capacity to hit a height of up to 25,000 meters and the cover of darkness made it difficult to detect.
With a range of 1,850 km it didn't need to be near the targets to take them out. Just as the convoy carrying Soleimani, Mohandas and their bodyguards had passed the airport's low perimeter wall, a command was issued by operators remotely piloting the unmanned aerial vehicle deep in Nevada to unleash the missiles.
One missile hit the car carrying Soleimani and Mohandas and the other hit the one carrying their bodyguards, setting all of them on fire with deadly precision. There are allegations that Mohandas was vapourised after the missile established contact with their vehicle.
It was accompanied by an identical drone in case it was brought down. The second drone never did anything as the job was done as had been planned.