Business

September 5, 2012

GA-ASI introduces system-wide enhancements for Predator B/MQ-9


New MQ-9 Block 1-Plus aircraft completes successful first flight

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced Sept. 5 the successful first flight of the Block 1-plus Predator(r) B/MQ-9 Reaper, an upgrade to the original Block 1 Predator B that has been in production since 2003.

The MQ-9 Block 1-plus test flight occurred May 24 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., with no discrepancies.

GA-ASI a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems.

“We continue to enhance the capabilities of our aircraft, improving their performance to meet emerging customer requirements,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. “The first flight of the MQ-9 Block 1-plus follows in the footsteps of the aircraft’s combat-proven Block 1 configuration and is an important technological achievement that will provide increased effectiveness, increased multi-mission flexibility, and even greater reliability.”

The MQ-9 Block 1-plus is a capability enhancement over the Block 1 configuration, which has amassed more than 420,000 flight hours across all customers. Block 1-plus was designed for increased electrical power, secure communications, auto land, increased Gross Takeoff Weight, weapons growth, and streamlined payload integration capabilities.

With the completion of development, testing, and expected Milestone C decision this fall, follow-on aircraft to the MQ-9 Block 1-plus configuration will be designated “MQ-9 Block 5.”

Featuring a new high-capacity starter generator, the aircraft offers an increase in electrical power capacity over the current Block 1 design. This increased power provides the aircraft with significant capacity for growth. In addition, the upgraded electrical system includes a backup generator that is sufficient to support all flight critical functions. This vastly improves the reliability of the electrical power system by providing three independent power sources.

Numerous new communications capabilities also will be available in the Block 5, including dual ARC-210 VHF/UHF radios with wingtip antennas, allowing for simultaneous communications between multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground parties; secure data links; and an increased data transmission capacity.

Additionally, the new trailing arm main landing gear will be included in Block 5, enabling the aircraft to carry heavier payloads or additional fuel.

Predator B is currently operational with the U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force as MQ-9 Reaper and the Italian Air Force as MQ-9, with NASA as Ikhana, and with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Predator B/Guardian. The aircraft is designed to perform multi-mission ISR and “Hunter-Killer” missions over land or sea, with more than 130 vehicles delivered to date.

 




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


 
 

 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Poland’s TELDAT, Raytheon partner to develop new Patriot router

Raytheon photograph TELDAT President and CEO Henryk Kruszynski and Daniel J Crowley, president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Raytheon is partnering with TELDAT to develop and produce advanced militarized routers for the...
 
 
boeing-etihad

Boeing, Etihad Airways unveil livery of airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing Sept. 28 rolled out of its paint hangar the first 787-9 Dreamliner that will be delivered to Etihad Airways. The airplane is painted in the airline’s new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery with colors reminis...
 

 

Northrop Grumman advances unmanned systems capabilities for maritime missions

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ñ Northrop Grumman developing new, advanced unmanned systems to support the Department of Defense’s capability to deploy global persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capabilities in a faster and more cost-effective way. The next-generation Tactical Exploited Reconnaissance Node (Tern) program is one example of several in progress focused on a...
 
 
lm-orion

Upgraded P-3 Orion delivered ahead of schedule

Lockheed Martin photograph by John Rossino Lockheed Martin delivered a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) P-3 Orion aircraft 34 days ahead of schedule Sept. 23 from its facilities in Greenville, S.C. This is the 10th of 1...
 
 

Sikorsky S-92Æ helicopter marks decade of trusted service, performance

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced Sept. 26 that September marks the 10-year anniversary of delivery of the first production S-92Æ helicopter. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. “On behalf of Sikorsky, I would like to congratulate and thank all of our customers, suppliers and employees upon reaching this milestone,” said Carey Bond, president,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>