General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) won a contract worth $32 million for the Belgium MQ-9B SkyGuardian procurement.
This contract provides for one MQ-9B simulator, training, spares and support equipment, a U.S. DoD release today said.
Belgium is procuring four MQ-9Bs for its defense needs.
The MQ-9B can attain maximum airspeed of 210 KTAS, maximum altitude of 40,000ft and can remain in the air for about 40 hours.
GA-ASI named its MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian, and the maritime surveillance variant SeaGuardian, which is fitted with a multimode 360-degree field-of-regard Maritime Patrol Radar and optional sonobuoy capability.
MQ-9B development began in 2014 as a company-funded program to deliver an RPAS to meet NATO’s stringent airworthiness type-certification standard (STANAG 4671). STANAG certification will enable SkyGuardian to operate in civil airspace and better perform border patrol, fire detection and firefighting support, maritime patrol, and resource monitoring missions. MQ-9B is provisioned for the GA-ASI-developed Detect and Avoid System (DAAS) to enhance safety of operations in civil and military airspace. The MQ-9B is built for all-weather performance with lightning protection, a damage tolerant airframe, and a de-icing system.