FARGO, N.D. — The North Dakota Air National Guard has received its first new plane in more than 60 years — and it’s unmanned.
The MQ-9 Reaper drone was unveiled Tuesday in a ceremony at the 119th Wing in Fargo. KFGO radio reports that it’s the first new aircraft flown by the unit since the base received T-33 trainers in the 1950s.
The Reaper is an armed, remotely-piloted aircraft that also conducts surveillance and search and rescue missions.
Col. Britt Hatley, the base commander, says the first flights over the Fargo area should take place later this month. The plane will eventually be flown to Camp Grafton in northeastern North Dakota, where airspace has been marked for training.