General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, today announced its notification of Spain’s selection of the Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper® RPA system to support the nation’s airborne surveillance and reconnaissance requirements.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense has awarded GA-ASI the delivery of one Predator B RPA system for the Spanish Armed Forces to include four aircraft equipped with MTS-B Electro-optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) sensors and GA-ASI’s Block 20A Lynx® Multi-mode Radar, two Block 30 Ground Control Stations (GCS), and Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and Line-of-Sight (LOS) data link capabilities by means of a Spanish-U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.
“GA-ASI is proud to partner with the Spanish Armed Forces to offer our operationally proven Predator B RPA to fulfill Spain’s emerging multi-mission requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “We also look forward to working with teammate SENER, a leading engineering company, and developing collaborative partnerships with other Spanish companies to help ensure the long-term success of the program.”
For his part, Andrés Sendagorta, vice president of SENER, expressed: “SENER, as technological teammate of GA-ASI for the MALE [Medium-altitude Long- endurance] project in Spain, is delighted to make all its capabilities available to the Spanish Armed Forces in order to achieve the best integration of the new system in Spain.” And he added: “The MQ-9 is broadly considered to be the best system in its range to which SENER has been providing keen backing for years. Reaper will contribute significantly to strengthen our country’s Defense and Security system and will provide increased protection to our forces.”
GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator B is a long-endurance, medium-high-altitude RPA that features an extensive payload capacity (850 lb/386 kg internally, 3,750 lb/1,700 kg externally), with a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet/15240 meters, and can stay aloft for up to 27 hours. Complementing this capability, SENER and Spanish industry will leverage their proven engineering and manufacturing experience to optimize sustainment and capability of the Predator B system in support of the Spanish Armed Forces.
Predator B is currently operational with the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, French Air Force and the Italian Air Force. The aircraft provides unmatched persistent situational awareness, safeguarding borders and maritime approaches, supporting military missions worldwide, and saving lives following natural disasters. Some 245 Predator B aircraft have amassed more than one million flight hours since first flight in 2001.