UK to Get MQ-9 Launch and Recovery Element

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:01 AM, April 8, 2020
  • 1540
UK to Get MQ-9 Launch and Recovery Element
MQ-9B SkyGuardian

General Atomics Aeronautics Systems (GA-ASI) has won a contract to provide MQ-9 contractor logistics support launch and recovery element (LRE) to the United Kingdom.

"GA-ASI has been awarded a not-to-exceed $8.4 million modification contract for the United Kingdom MQ-9 contractor logistics support launch and recovery element (LRE)," the Pentagon said in a release Tuesday.

The UK-1 LRE aircrew, readiness spares package-out, and UK-2 logistics readiness support will be performed at multiple stateside and international locations and is expected to be completed September 30, 2021, the statement read.

In early 2018, MQ-9B taxied, took off and landed using only its satellite communications (SATCOM) data link. GA-ASI claims that its Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC) eliminates the need for a ground control station located near the aircraft's base, which will "drastically reduce airlift requirements when the Remotely Piloted Aircraft is forward deployed."

The first flight of the production-representative MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) meant for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) was completed on March 30.

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