General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has been contracted to provide Predator B Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).
This decision follows consideration by the Ministry of Defence for the Netherlands.
“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to meet the UAS requirements of the Royal Netherlands Air Force,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “We are committed to providing a NATO-interoperable solution that enhances the ISR capabilities of the Netherlands and the Alliance.”
GA-ASI will deliver its Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Medium Altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) UAS to the Dutch Military. The existing MQ-9 fleet has logged over two million operational flight hours with the U.S. Air Force (USAF), UK Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian and French Air Forces, NASA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Spanish Air Force is scheduled to take delivery of MQ-9 systems in 2019.
Designated MQ-9 Reaper by its USAF and RAF customers, the turboprop-powered, multi-mission Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) was developed with GA-ASI funding and provides significantly greater capabilities than the older MQ-1 Predator.
First flown in 2001, Predator B is a highly sophisticated development built on the experience gained with the company’s battle-proven Predator RPA and is a major evolutionary leap forward in overall performance and reliability.
The multi-mission Predator B has up to 26 hours of flight endurance and carries HD-video sensors (optical and IR), ground-imaging/MTI/maritime radar, and other surveillance sensors. The aircraft features an extensive payload capacity (386 kg internally, 1361 kg externally), with a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet/13700 meters.
Predator B is powered by the flight-certified and proven Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine, integrated with Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC), which significantly improves engine performance and fuel efficiency, particularly at low altitudes.