On October 19, 2022, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) commenced flight operations using an MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI). JCG is operating the SeaGuardian from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Air Station Hachinohe. The RPA will primarily perform Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Other missions will include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement. SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.
“SeaGuardian is the world’s premier asset for performing MWAS,” said Robert Schoeffling, vice president of International Strategic Development at GA-ASI. “We’re proud to support the Government of Japan’s policy to strengthen its maritime security.”
This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks. GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian are revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and full compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO UAS airworthiness standard). This feature, along with our operationally proven, collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace. SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian have garnered significant interest from customers throughout the world. The UK Ministry of Defence selected MQ-9B SkyGuardian for its Protector program, and the Belgian Ministry of Defense signed a contract for SkyGuardian.
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. Avenger, Lynx, Predator, SeaGuardian and SkyGuardian are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.