General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI) concluded a set of maritime test flights over the sea-lanes off the coast of Southern California on September 11, using the MQ-9B SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). This was the first MQ-9B configured for surveillance operations over open-water, and served to demonstrate MQ-9B capabilities in the maritime environment.
“The SeaGuardian’s debut demonstrated persistent situational awareness in the maritime domain for our customers,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. SeaGuardian is an MQ-9B SkyGuardian configured for maritime ISR mission.
The Southern California test flight demonstrated how SeaGuardian can be used for a variety of maritime missions, including surface search, subsurface search, littoral surveillance, anti-piracy and search and rescue. MQ-9B is all-weather capable, and compliant with STANAG 4671 (NATO Airworthiness type-certification standard for UAS). This feature, along with its operationally proven collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil (including ICAO) airspace.
The aircraft onboard sensors included the GA-ASI Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a Raytheon Intelligence & Space SeaVue Expanded Mission Capability (XMC) radar, a Raytheon Intelligence & Space Multi-Spectral Targeting System, a Leonardo Electronic Support Measure (ESM)/Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) SAGE 750, a Shine Micro Automatic Identification System (AIS), an Ultra sonobuoy receiver and a General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada sonobuoy processor.