General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) is set to deliver the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to Belgium.

The company has signed a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract with the US Air Force (USAF) to deliver the RPAS system.

The contract includes the design, development, integration and production of the RPAS with its EO/IR video and SAR/GMTI surveillance payloads.

Furthermore, GA-ASI will be responsible for the delivery of Portable Pre-Flight/Post-Flight Equipment (P3E), ground support equipment, Certifiable Ground Control Stations (CGCS) and spare parts.

GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “We look forward to providing our RPAS to meet Belgium’s mission requirements, while also supporting the Nato Alliance.

“Through our Belgian R&D seed-funding initiative, we are connected with many Belgian companies interested in further improving the capabilities of the SkyGuardian system.”

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By GlobalData

The first delivery is scheduled for 2023.

The MQ-9B model is the most advanced RPAS developed by GA-ASI. The company started the development of the aircraft system in 2014 to deliver an RPAS that will meet Nato’s STANAG 4671 standard.

The model is also available in another variant called SeaGuardian for maritime surveillance.

According to the company, SkyGuardian has generated significant interest from customers across the world with the UK and Australia selecting the RPAS for their MQ-9B Protector programme and Project Air 7003 respectively.

Last month, GA‑ASI renamed the industry team, including Australian partner businesses, to Team SkyGuardian Australia (TSGA). The team will develop and deliver MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).