Business

July 11, 2018
 

SkyGuardian takes off from North Dakota on trans-Atlantic flight

general-atomics1
A Medium-altitude, Long-endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. took off at 12:48 p.m., CDT, July 10 from Grand Forks, N.D., on the first-ever trans-Atlantic flight of a MALE RPA.

GA-ASI’s company-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian is in flight, bound for Royal Air Force Fairford in England, where it was scheduled to land at approximately 6:45 p.m. local time, July 11.

“This is a very exciting moment in GA-ASI’s history,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “To demonstrate the long endurance of unmanned aircraft systems, we took on the challenge of flying a MALE RPA across the Atlantic. This effort has taken a lot of coordination and we appreciate the support of the CAA, RIAT organization and the RAF in this endeavor.”

Over the past 10 years, the RAF has operated GA-ASI’s MQ-9 Reapers® in various theatres of operation. The RAF is celebrating its 100-year anniversary (RAF100), and to commemorate the event GA-ASI is flying SkyGuardian to RAF Fairford, where the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) airshow will be held July 13-15. SkyGuardian will be on static display during the show. The RAF is acquiring MQ-9B for its PROTECTOR RG Mk1 program.

MQ-9B is the new generation of GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator® B product line. The company named its baseline MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian, and the maritime surveillance variant SeaGuardian. MQ-9B is a “certifiable” (STANAG 4671-compliant) version of the Predator B product line. Its development is the result of a five-year, company-funded effort to deliver a RPA system that can meet the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of various military and civil authorities, including the UK Military Airworthiness Authority and the U.S. FAA.

general-atomics3

Inmarsat Government is supporting GA-ASI’s flight with its L-band SATCOM service, SwiftBroadband, which provides resilient, seamless backup-connectivity throughout the duration of the flight. SkyGuardian and its North Dakota-based ground control station are using SATCOM to communicate with and control the aircraft, to include the command for automatic landing at Fairford.

“Inmarsat has been servicing the demanding ‘anywhere, anytime’ nature of airborne operations for decades, and is the market leader in providing reliable, global, mobile L- and Ka-band connectivity,” said Kai Tang, chief commercial officer, Inmarsat Government. “Reliable SATCOM is a critical enabler for any mission, and this trans-Atlantic flight test has vividly highlighted its importance. This is a truly historical event made possible by ingenuity and impressive integration and engineering from the GA team, and Inmarsat is very proud to be a part of it.”

The service also provides full flexibility in route selection for the long-endurance flight, while supporting mission-critical and time-sensitive data transmission, including imagery and video.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – September 24, 2018

News Sexual assault: Here are the bases where troops are most at risk – Men and women assigned to Navy ships at sea are far more likely to be sexually assaulted than service members at bases elsewhere across the force, according to a new Defense Department report.     Business Sub builder Electric Boat injects...
 
 

News Briefs – September 24, 2018

U.S. sanctions China military agency for buying Russian arms A Chinese military agency and its director are facing U.S. sanctions over the purchase of Russian weapons. U.S. government officials say China’s Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu violated a 2017 law meant to punish Russia for interfering in U.S. elections and other activities. Administration...
 
 
NASA photograph by Steve Moon

Partnership, teamwork enable landmark science glovebox launch to ISS

NASA photograph by Steve Moon NASA’s new Life Sciences Glovebox undergoes testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, prior to its Sept. 22 flight to the International Space Station. The r...