General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. , a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, electro-optics, and related mission systems, and EDGE, a world-leading advanced technology group for defence and beyond, announced an agreement today to integrate EDGE smart weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian® RPA.
Under the agreement announced at the Dubai Airshow, the two companies will work together to integrate precision-guided munition (PGM) and guided-glide weapon (GGW) solutions from EDGE onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian.
“We’re excited to work with EDGE on this initiative,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “Integrating home-grown capabilities onto our customer platforms is something we’ve done a lot, but we’ve never before integrated a non-NATO weapon system onto one of our RPA platforms.”
The partnership marks the first time that UAE-made smart weapons will be integrated onto a U.S. unmanned platform, signalling a new chapter in U.S.-UAE defence cooperation, and opening the door to further collaboration.
Hamad Al Marar, President of EDGE Group’s Missiles & Weapons cluster, said, “We are proud to be working with General Atomics Aeronautical. The opportunity to integrate our smart weapons on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian will offer the end user multiple dynamic, highly accurate, and cost-effective ground strike solutions. We look forward to working closely with General Atomics Aeronautical on this programme and to enhancing our collaboration in the future.”
The EDGE smart weapons designated for integration include the DESERT STING family of GGWs and THUNDER family of cost-effective PGMs from HALCON, and the AL TARIQ family of modular, mission-proven, all-weather day/night long-range PGMs.
GA-ASI hopes that its work with EDGE will lead to more partnerships within the UAE defence industry in order to integrate domestically developed sensors and weapons onto the MQ-9B for the UAE and other customers.
The UAE Armed Forces currently operate GA-ASI’s Predator XP and are working with GA-ASI and the U.S. Department of Defense to acquire the MQ-9B.
Attendees of the Dubai Airshow can visit GA-ASI at stand 1380 and EDGE and its portfolio of companies at indoor stand 520 and outdoor stand S49 at Dubai World Central.