General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been notified that the Government of Belgium has approved Belgian Defense to begin negotiations with the U.S. Government to acquire the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
“We look forward to providing our unmanned aircraft systems to meet Belgium’s mission requirements, while also supporting the NATO Alliance,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “We are also eager to work with our industrial partners in Belgium on a host of activities ranging from manufacturing to maintenance.”
MQ-9B is the latest 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 the result of a five-year company-funded effort to deliver an unmanned aircraft system that can operate in non-segregated, civil airspace, which meets the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO STANAG 4671. To highlight these capabilities in support of the celebration of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force 100th anniversary (RAF100) in July, SkyGuardian became the first Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) UAS to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. The system features >40 hour endurance, all-weather, short-field, self-deployment (through SATCOM controlled automatic take-off and landing), and “detect-and-avoid” capabilities.
SkyGuardian has also been selected by the Royal Air Force for its PROTECTOR RG Mk1 program.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator®, Reaper® and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.
For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.