US Loses Drone over Niger
The U.S. military says it lost an MQ-1 drone on Saturday near Agadez, Niger, according to U.S. Africa Command,Military Times has reported.
“Our initial and current assessment is that the RPA [remotely piloted aircraft] was lost due to mechanical failure. We do not believe the RPA was lost as a result of any hostile action,” Navy Lt. Christina M. Gibson, a spokeswoman with U.S. Africa Command, told Military Times in an email Monday.
Officials with U.S. AFRICOM confirmed to Military Times that the crashed drone was an MQ-1.
Agadez is the site of a new sprawling joint Niger and U.S. air base known as Nigerien Air Base 201. AFRICOM announced in November that the $110 million airfield was conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations out of the base, and was housing armed drones and other aircraft that previously were operating out of Niger’s capital, Niamey.
Armed drones to fly out of Niger air base now operational after delayed completion
U.S. Africa Command announced Friday that intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations are now being conducted out of the base in Agadez, Niger, which is designed to house armed drones and other aircraft that have historically operated out of Niger’s capital, Niamey.
AFRICOM said at the time the new base’s location in central Niger was critical due to the geographic advantages it posed in warding off threats from violent extremist groups in the area.