Ability to provide global coverage to operate anywhere in the world
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 2, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Dec. 22, 2022, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the Air National Guard (ANG) join forces with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force ( USAF) conducted flight tests of the MQ-9A remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) equipped with the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Communications (SATCOM) command and control system. This breakthrough capability provides global coverage and connectivity to enable pole-to-pole operations of GA-ASI’s family of RPAs, including models such as the MQ-9B SkyGuardian.®/sea guardian®MQ-9A Reaper, Gray Eagle 25M.
GA-ASI President David R. Alexander said: “With LEO SATCOM, we will be able to connect GA-ASI aircraft from the North Pole to the South Pole, enabling them to operate in the harshest environments, while also allowing operators to communicate more data to and from the aircraft. It also provides resilient connectivity.”
Initial tests show that LEO SATCOM significantly reduces latency and can be used during all phases of flight. For customers across the MQ-9 family of systems, LEO SATCOM will reduce operating costs and a smaller hardware footprint will ultimately increase flexibility and reduce future payload integration costs.
Flight testing of the MQ-9A was based at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California, and followed several weeks of ground testing.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven and reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radar, electro-optical and related mission systems. is a company thatpredator® RPA series and Lynx® multimode radar. With more than 7 million flight hours, GA-ASI is a long-lasting endurance vehicle with the integrated sensor and data link systems necessary to achieve persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strikes. and mission-capable aircraft. The company also manufactures various ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, provides pilot training and support services, and develops metamaterial antennas. For more information, see: www.ga-asi.com.