Following delivery of the first two MQ-9A Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) that were procured upon the successful completion of a Company-Owned Company-Operated (COCO) Deployment Contract, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) are celebrating the delivery of the first new-build MQ-9A Extended Range (ER) UAS to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on April 19, 2023. The delivery of the first new-build MQ-9A ER is part of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) Program. GA-ASI was selected by the USMC in 2022 to deliver eight MQ-9A ER UAS as part of the ARES Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) contract.
GA-ASI anticipates awards later this year for Ground Control Systems (GCS), spares, and Ground Support Equipment as part of the first increment of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) Program of Record. GA-ASI will begin first delivery of aircraft and support equipment this winter to facilitate the fleet standup in late summer 2023 for U.S. Marine Corps’ (USMC) Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3 located at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. As part of the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 efforts, VMU-3 will operate these MQ-9A ERs with their unique sensors and network capabilities to support training for the Marine Littoral Regiment.
The MQ-9A ER is designed with field-retrofittable capabilities such as wing-borne fuel pods and reinforced landing gear that extend the aircraft’s endurance to more than 30 hours while further increasing its operational flexibility. The aircraft provides long-endurance, persistent surveillance capabilities with Full-Motion Video and Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator/Maritime Mode Radar. An extremely reliable aircraft, MQ-9A ER is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and a triple-redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.
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.