GA-ASI Teamed with Five Businesses, Based in Belgium

SAN DIEGO, California, the USA ( – The leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, electro-optic and related mission systems, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), announced on Tuesday (15th January 2019) that the company has teamed with five businesses, based in Belgium, as part of an industrial collaboration effort with the Belgian aerospace and defence industry, learned

Team SkyGuardian Belgium involves GA-ASI and the Belgium-based companies SABCA, Thales Belgium, Esterline, DronePort, and Newtec.

The Belgian Government recently announced the selection of MQ-9B SkyGuardianTM for meeting the RPA requirements of Belgian Defence. The MQ-9B of GA-ASI has also been selected by the Royal Air Force for the purposes of its PROTECTOR RG Mk1 program.

Read more: First Flight of GA-ASI’s Certifiable Ground Control Station

MQ-9B is highly modular and hence, it is easily configured with a variety of payloads for meeting mission requirements. The aircraft can carry multiple mission payloads and features a state-of-the art Detect and Avoid (DAA) system including space, weight, and power provisions for enabling the retrofitting of an airborne Due Regard Radar (DRR) for operation in non-cooperative airspace.

Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI, commented, “GA-ASI looks forward to working with our Belgian teammates to make the MQ-9B procurement a success. We are very pleased to be joined in this endeavour by SABCA, Thales, Esterline, DronePort, and Newtec.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between GA-ASI and SABCA covers their cooperation for production and Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) activities, including initial in-country entry into service and support for SkyGuardian, as well as production of the lightning-protected SATCOM radome for all MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardianTM systems at SABCA Limburg.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between GA‑ASI and Thales Belgium S.A., the companies will join efforts on RPA surveillance sensor data processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) solutions, including the integration of MQ-9B into Belgian military data networks.

Ground Control Station displays are procured from Esterline in Flanders.

DronePort will contribute to the identification of UAS-technology seed funding opportunities within Belgium.

Newtec is a satellite communication technology company.

It is expected the total economic value of Team SkyGuardian’s efforts to the industry of Belgium to be more than €100 million.

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Source: GA-ASI