General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) successfully completed a trans-Atlantic flight of its Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), becoming the first MALE RPA to do so.
GA-ASI’s capital MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA took off from Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA on July 10th at 12:48 p.m. CDT. and landed at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire, UK. The flight covered 3,760 nautical mile flight in 24 hours 2 minutes.
“This historic event was a demonstration of the endurance and civil airspace capability of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, and it is fitting to do this as part of the centennial celebration of the RAF,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “The successful flight of the MQ-9B is the culmination of the hard work and innovation of our dedicated employees, and the strong relationships that we enjoy with the RAF, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and our UK industry partners such as Cobham.”
MQ-9B is the next generation of GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator B fleet. GA-ASI named its baseline MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian, and the maritime surveillance variant SeaGuardian. MQ-9B is a “type-certifiable” (STANAG 4671-compliant) version of the MQ-9 Predator B product line. Its development is the result of a five-year, company-funded effort to deliver a RPA that can meet the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of various military and civil authorities, including the UK Military Airworthiness Authority (MAA) and the U.S. FAA.
Type-certification, together with an extensively tested collision avoidance system, will allow unrestricted operations in all classes of civil airspace.
Paul Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Cobham Aviation Services UK, said: “The SkyGuardian trans-Atlantic flight is a significant and exciting event for both GA-ASI and for the future capability of the RAF. Cobham is proud to have a teaming agreement with GA-ASI for logistics and maintenance services, which builds on our present support of the Reaper Ground Control Stations. We look forward to working with both GA-ASI and the RAF as the PROTECTOR RG Mk1 comes into service”.
General Atomics has been awarded $39.5 million to provide additional unmanned air system intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance surge support for Marine Corps Task Force
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced Tuesday the first flight of the Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Japan during an opening ceremony on Iki Island
The first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was unveiled today during a ceremony held at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show, at Schönefeld airport. First unmanned aerial system designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, its characteristics will include mission modularity for operational superiority in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, both wide area and in-theatre, Dassault said in a statement Wednesday
Four European firms – Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales have signed a memorandum of agreement to provide MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) program with a future-proof ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) function. The companies have agreed in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, confirming their common goal to offer a coherent ISTAR functional chain for the MALE RPAS comprising all elements from sensors and computing through data processing and communications
General Atomics has set a new endurance record with its Avenger Extended Range (ER) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) drone when it flew 23.4 continuous hours in a representative Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) configuration while carrying out a simulated reconnaissance mission
MBDA has won a contract to integrate Brimstone missile onto UK Air Force's Protector RG Mk1 drone. Brimstone and Protector RG Mk1 will provide new capabilities to the Air Force's ISTAR force, enabling them to engage high-speed moving and manoeuvring targets (including maritime fast attack craft for the first time), MBDA said in a statement Thursday
General Atomics has teamed with Belgiums SABCA, Thales Belgium, Esterline, DronePort and Newtec to provide Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) activities and other services to support the Belgian militarys selection of SkyGuardian UAVs. GA-ASI and SABCA will be responsible for production and MRO activities, including initial in-country entry into service and support for SkyGuardian
India and the United States today signed the long-awaited Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA) enabling the potential sale of General Atomics armed drones and the installation of sensitive communications equipment on military platforms sold to India. The COMCASA was signed after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met their US counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in the first 2+2 dialogue held between the two countries, media reports of the event said
General Atomics has concluded performance testing of the arresting hook Hold Down Damper (HDD) for its proposed MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the United States Navy. GA-ASI worked in collaboration with a team from GKN Aerospaces Fokker business unit in Helmond, Netherlands
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