A U.S. Africa Command drone, MQ-1C Gray Eagle, has made an emergency landing near Agadez, Niger, on Saturday.
AFRICOM’s Twitter account confirmed the incident in response to social media postings of what appear to be an armed Gray Eagle drone, with a Hellfire missile still under its wing.
“We continue to work with African partners providing a range of assistance in the region to include a valuable threat detection capability via aerial overwatch,” said Air Force Col. Christopher Karns.
The U.S. Africa Command spokesman told Military Times that suffered a technical fault while conducting a routine operation around the area.
“The aircraft experienced a mechanical malfunction while conducting a routine mission in support of operations in the region,” Karns told Military Times.
“The aircraft is under observation by U.S. forces with host nation cooperation and assistance,” Karns said.
“Assessment and the process of recovery of the aircraft and safeguarding the site is underway. Due to force protection and operational considerations this is about all I can say. Early indications reflect a mechanical issue but an investigation is underway.”
— Wassim Nasr (@SimNasr) January 24, 2021
Karns told Military Times the drone is an MQ-1C Gray Eagle, a multipurpose drone that “provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, command and control, communications relay, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, attack, battle damage assessment, and manned-unmanned teaming capabilities,” according to the Defense Department.