General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) concluded a set of maritime test flights over the sea-lanes off the coast of Southern California on September 11th, using the MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). This was the first MQ-9B configured for surveillance operations over open-water, and served to demonstrate MQ-9B capabilities in the maritime environment.
“The SeaGuardian’s debut demonstrated persistent situational awareness in the maritime domain for our customers,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. SeaGuardian is an MQ-9B SkyGuardian configured for maritime ISR mission.
The Southern California test flight demonstrated how SeaGuardian can be used for a variety of maritime missions, including surface search, subsurface search, littoral surveillance, anti-piracy and search and rescue. MQ-9B is all-weather capable and compliant with STANAG 4671 (NATO Airworthiness type-certification standard for UAS). This feature, along with its operationally proven collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil (including ICAO) airspace.
The aircraft onboard sensors included the GA-ASI Lynx® Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a Raytheon Intelligence & Space SeaVue Expanded Mission Capability (XMC) radar, a Raytheon Intelligence & Space Multi-Spectral Targeting System, a Leonardo Electronic Support Measure (ESM)/Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) SAGE 750, a Shine Micro Automatic Identification System (AIS), an Ultra sonobuoy receiver and a General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada sonobuoy processor.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.
With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables 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.