An MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Unmanned Aircraft System from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is under contract with the U.S. Navy to support the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise. RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, started in late June and continues until early August in Hawaii and Southern California operations areas. GA-ASI’s SeaGuardian is a maritime derivative of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian® and remains the first UAS that offers multi-domain Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) as an internal payload that can search the ocean surface and the depths in support of Fleet Operations.
The UAS is also providing real-time ISR data feeds to the U.S. Pacific Fleet Command Center using Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) parametrics and full-motion video to the watch floor and intelligence centers for real-time, dynamic tasking.As of July 25, 2022, 11 flights totaling over 80 hours have been flown by SeaGuardian showcasing all operational payloads, which includes Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT), Automatic Identification System (AIS), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) monitor and control of sonobuoys, GA-ASI developed Lynx® Multi-mode Maritime Radar, high-definition Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) imaging system and Link 16.
SeaGuardian’s multi-domain capabilities allows it to flex from mission to mission and pass real-time sensor data directly to the Fleet through Link 16 and satellite feeds to the shore-based command and intelligence centers. During RIMPAC, the MQ-9B has effectively passed ISR&T information to various surface and air units, such as the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Guided Missile Destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, frigates, patrol boats, P-8s, P-3s and a litany of other U.S. and foreign units taking part in the exercise.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than seven million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas