General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has completed a series of demonstration flights with its MQ-9 Guardian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) in Greece.
The demonstrations were performed for various European military and civilian representatives over ten days and were done to exhibit the MQ-9 RPAS’ maritime surveillance capabilities.
They showcased the ability of the detect and avoid (DAA) system, which is designed to allow the RPAS to fly safely in civil airspace.
The GA-ASI-developed DAA features an air-to-air radar system combined with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).
It is also capable of detecting traffic both cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft.
During flight series, the capabilities of a multi-mode, maritime surface-search radar, and high-definition / full-motion video optical and Infrared sensor were also displayed.
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Raytheon SeaVue surface-search radar tracked maritime targets on a continuous basis while the Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) mode helped in vessels classification.
The demonstrations were first announced in November and have been sponsored by the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) and the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG).
GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “We were honoured to have the HAF’s and the HCG’s support for these flight demonstrations with our MQ-9.
“The MQ-9 RPAS is already a strategic asset for Nato countries, providing mission persistence and interoperability between allies. We showcased MQ-9’s maritime surveillance and the civil airspace integration capabilities for our European customers.”
SES supported the demonstrations by geostationary orbit (GEO) satellite connectivity using more than 70 satellites in GEO and medium Earth orbit (MEO).
The MQ-9 is currently operational with the US military, Department of Homeland Security and Nasa.
Furthermore, the Netherlands and Australia have selected the system their defence forces, whereas the Belgian Defense is in talks over MQ-9B procurement.