General Atomics beat Israel Aerospace Industries in two huge deals worth an approximate $1.2 billion in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) sales to Australia and Belgium.
The Australian Government selected General Atomics Reaper UAVs to provide the Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System under Project Air 7003 for its defence forces for an approximate $1 billion. Belgium selected MQ-9 UAVs for an approximate $230 million. These contracts which last for at least 10 years include accompanying services.
"The decisions made in Australia and Belgium are unpleasant for IAI, to say the least. Besides the large amounts of money in these deals, which IAI always needs, it is a foothold for future deals in the same countries, because a country that buys UAVs from a certain company will probably later buy more services, extensions, upgrades, or completely other products from it with an interface with the UAV systems," Globes reported quoting unnamed defense source as saying Sunday.
"IAI went into these proceedings in both countries as an underdog, especially in Australia, where the authorities prefer General Atomics and didn't want to hold a competitive proceeding at all. IAI battled in this matter just to put a price bid on the table that could compete with that of General Atomics," the source stated.
Defense sources said late last week that despite IAI's efforts, in every proceeding held in recent years, the Australian Ministry of Defense preferred UAVs offered by the US manufacturer, while rejecting IAI's request for holding a competitive proceeding.
Up until two years ago, IAI leased Heron UAVs to Australia, which operated them, among other things in its share of the fighting in Afghanistan.
The Australian Government has selected General Atomics (GA-ASI) Reaper UAVs to provide the Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System under Project Air 7003 for the Australian Defense Forces (ADF). “We look forward to providing our world-leading RPAS to meet the Air 7003 requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI
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General Atomics has received a Special Airworthiness Certification in the Experimental Category from the FAA for its second MQ-9B SkyGuardian aircraft. The company-owned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) – registered as N191FP and known as YBC02 – joins the first SkyGuardian in support of the MQ-9B development program
Eyeing to sell MQ-9B SeaGuardian Unmanned Aerial System, and electromagnetic aircraft launch and recovery systems (EMALS) for Indian aircraft carriers, General Atomics has announced the opening of a new office in New Delhi, India. General Atomics is working with both governments (India and the United States) in an effort to provide India with a variety of systems and technologies supporting national defense, including MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, and EMALS for Indian aircraft carriers, the company said in a statement Tuesday
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