GA-ASI Announces Team SkyGuardian Australia

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA–ASI) announces that the industry team, made up of Australian partner businesses assembled for the development and delivery of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Australia, will now be called “Team SkyGuardian Australia” (TSGA).

This replaces the previous team name, “Team Reaper Australia.”

GA-ASI announced its intention to offer a Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) RPAS to the ADF during AVALON 2017 with the launch of Team Reaper Australia. Under Project Air 7003, GA-ASI was selected to provide MQ-9B SkyGuardian for the Armed RPAS capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Now known as Team SkyGuardian Australia, this group of robust Australian industry partners consists of 10 world-class Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities. The 10 TSGA members – Cobham (TSGA lead industry partner), CAE, Raytheon Australia, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, Airspeed, Collins Aerospace, Ultra, and Sentient Vision Systems – are well positioned to provide a cohesive approach for meaningful and sustainable Australian industry content.

Rendering of an Armed MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) system in Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) livery. GA-ASI Photo.

The change to the Australian industry team name was made in consultation with the ADF to better reflect the RPAS capability that will be delivered.

“GA-ASI is working closely with the ADF and our TSGA partners to deliver a robust Armed RPAS capability to Australia that meets the operational and industry capability requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI.

MQ-9B is GA-ASI’s most advanced RPAS. In addition to Australia, the UK Royal Air Force recently announced its MQ-9B production contract through UK Ministry of Defence and the Government of Belgium has approved Belgian Defense to negotiate the acquisition of MQ-9B. There has been significant interest from customers throughout the world.

The MQ-9B SkyGuardian will provide much-needed protection and support to Australian Land Forces, while having considerable potential to expand support into Multi-Domain Operations through GA-ASI’s development of advanced capabilities, including Anti-Submarine Warfare, Electronic Warfare, self-protection and Detect and Avoid systems, along with a range of advanced networking solutions. These roles suit the MQ-9B ideally for ADF future operations envisaged through the recently released 2020 Defence Strategic Update.

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