On Nov. 10, 2022, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew the first production MQ-9A Multi-Domain Operations (M2DO)-ready variant of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Reaper. This upgraded version of the MQ-9A Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft, also known as a the “-25,” includes key features that will enable future integration and fielding of Open Mission Systems (OMS) as well as new sensors that will further expand the MQ-9A Reaper’s strategic reconnaissance capabilities. Features of the new “-25” include improved power distribution and redundancy, GPS improvements, radar altimeters, nose wheel steering, and angle of attack (AoA) sensor system improvements. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps will both receive these improved MQ-9A Block 5 “-25” M2DO-ready aircraft under current contracts; however, the total number of aircraft receiving these improvements has not been released.
“We’re excited to position the MQ-9A enterprise for new missions through these capabilities,” said GA-ASI Vice President of USAF Programs Claudia Mowery. “Future funding could potentially expand these capabilities to the entire MQ-9A fleet.”
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.