SAN DIEGO – 12 March 2020 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is proud to work with Belgium-based Sociétés Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques, SABCA to supply Satellite Communications (SATCOM) radomes for the MQ-9B SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). SABCA is one of GA-ASI’s team of Belgian suppliers – known as Team SkyGuardian Belgium – that will be providing content for all MQ-9B aircraft. The Government of Belgium has approved Belgian Defense to negotiate the acquisition of MQ-9B to meet the nation’s RPA requirements.
“We’re pleased to have SABCA as our supplier for MQ-9B SATCOM radomes,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “This is a complex, major component of the MQ-9B airframe, subject to strict manufacturing process requirements characteristic of type-certified aircraft production. I’m confident that SABCA is up to the task.”
After being qualified by GA-ASI in 2019, SABCA has been officially awarded the production of the lightning-protected SATCOM radome for the worldwide fleet of MQ-9B. The production of the first radome will start in 2020 in SABCA’s Limburg facilities in Belgium.
“We are very proud to be part of the MQ-9B project and to add GA-ASI to our customer list,” said Thibauld Jongen, CEO of the SABCA group. “This is a recognition of SABCA’s expertise in complex composite structure and a first concretization of our excellent partnership with GA-ASI.”
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is acquiring the MQ-9B as part of its Protector RG Mk1 program and is scheduled for first delivery in the early 2020s. In December, the Australian Government announced the selection of GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under Project Air 7003.
MQ-9B development began in 2014 as a company funded program to deliver an RPA to meet the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO and civil aviation authorities throughout the world. The MQ-9B is provisioned for the GA-ASI-developed Detect and Avoid System (DAAS), and is built for all-weather performance with lightning protection, damage tolerance, and a de-icing system.
Hi-resolution images of MQ-9B are available to qualified media outlets from GA-ASI.
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 six 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. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
SABCA - Sociétés Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques - is a worldwide leading tier 1 multi-technology aerospace supplier. Serving the world’s leading aircraft and space launchers manufacturers among which Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Ariane, SABCA designs, develops, manufactures and maintains aircraft and launcher components and systems. With a century’s experience, the company asserts its expertise in 4 business units – Integrated Assemblies, Actuation Systems, MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) and Unmanned Autonomous Systems. For more information, visit www.sabca.be.
Predator, Lynx, SeaGuardian, and SkyGuardian are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
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GA-ASI Media Relations
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
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