Japan to use multi-mode MQ-9B UAV for wide-area surveillance

TOKYO, ($1=124.30 Japanese Yens) — General Atomics Aeronautical Systems [GA-ASI], which offers advanced products in Remotely Operated Aircraft Systems [RPAS], announced that it is pleased to be selected to support the RPAS Project of the Japan Coast Guard. In this context, the Japanese Coast Guard will start using the General Atomics MQ-9B UAV in operations as of October 2022, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing DefenceTurk.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

SeaGuardian is scheduled to conduct wide-area marine surveillance to support the Japan Coast Guard’s [JCG] missions, which include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement. As part of the project, several successful flight trials were conducted in 2020 using the same JCG missions, using the SeaGuardian to verify compliance with Japan’s “Maritime Security Systems Strengthening Policy” and drones to perform large sea area surveillance.

Long-term aerial surveillance capability

“We are proud to support JCG’s maritime surveillance mission with our SeaGuardian UAV,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. The system is unique in its ability to provide economical and extremely long-term aerial surveillance with long-range sensors in the maritime domain,” the statement said.

SeaGuardian is a multi-mode sea surface search radar equipped with Inverted Synthetic Aperture Radar [ISAR] imaging mode, Automatic Identification System [AIS], high resolution optical and infrared cameras, and full-motion video sensor.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

This sensor package provides real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles. In this context, it provides automatic tracking of naval targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.

SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian have gained an important place in the long-lasting remote-controlled aircraft systems market by providing all-weather compatibility and full compatibility with STANAG-4671 [NATO UAV airworthiness standard]. In this context, the operationally proven collision avoidance radar in the system allows flexible operations in civil airspace.


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