General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and surveillance systems, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with International Golden Group (IGG), a leading supplier of integrated defense systems in the Middle East, to offer the Predator® XP UAS to meet the surveillance needs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government. The MOU was signed this past week during the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi.
“GA-ASI’s establishment of a working relationship with IGG represents a strategic commitment by both companies to help the UAE strengthen its national security and protect critical infrastructure,” said J. Neal Blue, Chairman and CEO, GA-ASI. “IGG’s proven expertise in providing comprehensive defense equipment solutions to the UAE marketplace is a strong complement to GA-ASI’s leadership in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance [ISR] technologies.”
Mr. Fadel Al Kaabi, CEO, IGG, said, “IGG recognizes that the search for excellence is the key to our success and this drives us to achieve more – not only on behalf of our customers, but also on behalf of our international partners.” Mr. Khalifa Al Baloushi, Deputy CEO, IGG, added, “We are looking forward to expanding in the region and continuously improving systems to meet the requirements of different end users.”
Due to U.S. Government export restrictions, sales of all GA-ASI UAS had been limited to the US Government, NATO, and other select allied nations. However, GA-ASI has recently expanded its aircraft portfolio to offer an export version of its flagship Predator UAS, Predator XP. Offering comparable ISR capabilities as Predator, Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. Government to be proposed for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Predator XP exhibits the same physical dimensions, altitude, speed, and long endurance (up to 40 hours) as the original “RQ-1” Predator aircraft first flown by the U.S. Air Force.
Battle-proven since its first combat flight in the Balkans in 1995, Predator aircraft have amassed over one million flight hours to date. Predator XP is equipped with the same ISR capabilities employed on the RQ-1. The aircraft may be integrated with multiple exportable sensors, including state-of-the-art Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) cameras and GA-ASI’s Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.