Japan Coast Guard picks GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian to support RPAS project

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been selected by the Japan Coast Guard to provide MQ-9B SeaGuardian for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) project.


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 a high-definition – full-motion video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.

Photo by: GA-ASI

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, according to the company.

SeaGuardian will be used to conduct wide-area maritime surveillance to support JCG’s missions, which include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement.

This project follows a series of successful JCG flight trials in 2020 that used SeaGuardian to validate the same JCG missions in accordance with Japan’s “Policy on Strengthening the Maritime Security Systems“, using unmanned aerial vehicles to perform maritime wide-area surveillance.