The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) will double the number of MQ-9A Remotely Piloted Aircraft they will procure, taking the total order from four to eight aircraft. The first four MQ-9A Block 5 Reapers and associated Ground Control Stations were delivered to the RNLAF in 2022. MQ-9A is designed and developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI). The delivery of the MQ-9As, their Ground Control Stations, and support equipment is part of a USAF Foreign Military Sale to the RNLAF. MQ-9A Block 5 has endurance of up to 27 hours, is capable of speeds up to 240 KTAS and can operate up to 40,000 feet. It has a 3,850-pound (1,746-kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms) of external stores. It provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance capability with Full-Motion Video and Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator/Maritime Radar. An extremely reliable aircraft, MQ-9A Block 5 is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.
“We’re thrilled that the first set of Dutch Reapers have made such a positive impact on the RNLAF. With this new set of capabilities, the Netherlands will have the most capable set of MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft in the world. They have customized the Dutch MQ-9As to meet the Netherlands’ expanding mission set,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander.
“We are doubling the number of MQ-9A Reapers so we can increase our maritime and overland intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance (ISR) capacity. The MQ-9As will receive external pods for Electronic Intelligence, a communications relay, a Maritime Radar, and also be armed in the future,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Ruedisueli, commander of the RNLAF’s 306 squadron that operate the new MQ-9A Reapers.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. Avenger, Lynx, Predator, SeaGuardian, and SkyGuardian are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. With more than eight million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent situational awareness. The company also produces a variety of sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.