General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., has won a contract to support MQ-9 Reaper drones of France.
The modification contract worth $36.25 million covers logistics support MQ-9 Block Five and Block One aircraft. This contract involves 100% Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to France.
The contractor will provide an additional period of contractor logistics support for the French Air Force. Work is expected to be completed December 31, 2021.
In September, GA-ASI won $28 million to weaponize French Reapers.
French Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of 16 unarmed MQ-9s, associated equipment, ground control hardware, and support, worth up to $1.5 billion total. Although the Reapers were capable of carrying weapons back then, France had chosen earlier to not to arm them.
In January 2014, French Air Force took delivery of MQ-9 (Block 1) Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Reaper drones and deployed them at Niamey Air Base in Niger for border reconnaissance in the Sahel desert. These drones complemented Harfang drones that are already operating in various theaters.
By using optical and radar sensors to effect real-time monitoring, the range and endurance of the Reaper drones allowed the French forces to operate throughout the Sahel-Saharan strip.