U.S. Navy forces at Guantanamo Bay shot down a pair of MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that penetrated the base’s air defense identification zone on Saturday night, JAG sources told Real Raw News.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., radar operators at Leeward Point Airfield detected two bogeys heading northwest over the sea toward GITMO. At the same time, a radar technician aboard one of the two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers protecting the base confirmed the track and suspected the bogeys were high-altitude attack and surveillance drones, flying at 42,000 feet at 300mph—too slow for a commercial airliner and too high for regional general aviation aircraft. They did not respond to Mode C transponder interrogation or answer radio hails.
“All signs pointed to a drone incursion, and we weren’t taking any chances,” our source said. “We know what damage they can cause and what they caused at MCLB Albany. The radarmen highly suspected they were Reapers or similar.”
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is a remotely Piloted UAV developed primarily for the U.S. Air Force. Its 66-foot wingspan and 240 horsepower turboprop engines allow flight speeds of 240 knots at up to 50,000 feet. Its armament can include AGM-114 Hellfire missiles with an unclassified range of ~11 kilometers, depending on launch altitude, or Paveway laser-guided bombs. The Reaper’s operational range is said to be about 1,150 nautical miles.
As the rapidly descending bogeys approached within 35 miles of GITMO, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer launched two RIM-66 surface-to-air missiles at the approaching targets. The missiles struck and obliterated the UAVs.
Meanwhile, GITMO leadership debated whether the drones were a diversion, but no other signs of an imminent attack appeared.
“Tensions are high; it’s been almost a year since the Christmas Day assault. We can’t leave anything to chance,” our source said.
A helicopter, he added, was immediately sent to the interception point, where the crew saw surface debris consistent with Reaper UAVs.
“We’re almost sure the Deep State has a clandestine base in Haiti, and what I can say is, once we’ve confirmed the location, we’ll be wiping it off the map. You can take that to the bank. In fact, maybe we already have,” the source said.
Asked if GITMO leadership speculated why the Deep State sent quickly destroyable drones instead of a flotilla, the source said, “Look, it can be anything from probing our defenses to wanting to take out one of their own, you know, who they think might spill some beans, so to speak. If they got close enough, the drones could’ve popped four Hellfire missiles at Delta and taken out a bunch of Deep State detainees.”
Guantanamo Bay, he said in closing, will maintain a heightened state of vigilance in the aftermath of the drone shootdown.