GA-ASI to deliver eight MQ-9A extended range UAS to US Marine Corps
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, has secured a contract for eight MQ-9A Extended Range (ER) unmanned aircraft systems to be delivered to the US Marine Corps (USMC).
The award is part of the ARES Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) contract signed on May 27, 2022.
In addition, the company said it 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.
Under the contract, GA-ASI will begin the first delivery of aircraft and support equipment this winter to facilitate the fleet standup in late summer 2023 for 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 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 extends the aircraft’s endurance to more than 30 hours, while further increasing its operational flexibility.
It provides long-endurance, persistent surveillance capabilities, with full-motion video and synthetic aperture radar/moving target indicator/maritime mode radar.
“We look forward to rapid deployment of these MQ-9A ERs for our USMC customer”, said GA-ASI Vice President of DoD Strategic Development, Patrick Shortsleeve. “This capability will be a key ISR contributor for the Marine Air Ground Task Force – and ultimately for US Indo-Pacific Command – as we pace ourselves to outmanoeuvre our adversaries.”
Earlier this year, GA-ASI was selected by the Japan Coast Guard to provide MQ-9B SeaGuardian for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) project.