GA-ASI and L3Harris enhance MQ-9 aircraft’s ISR capabilities

5 March 2020 (Last Updated March 5th, 2020 10:56)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and L3Harris Technologies have enhanced the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

GA-ASI and L3Harris enhance MQ-9 aircraft’s ISR capabilities
GA-ASI MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft integrated with WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR. Credit: General Atomics.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and L3Harris Technologies have enhanced the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

The MQ-9 Predator B series of RPAS has been integrated with WESCAM MX-20 Electro-optical / infrared (EO/IR) system.

This integration will provide advanced targeting capability to the aircraft.

Additionally, the WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR system will support multiple Precision Guided Munitions (PGM) missions.

On 18 February, a series of test flights were conducted to showcase the advanced ISR capabilities such as locate and track targets at long stand-off ranges.

GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “The GA-ASI and L3Harris teams have worked closely over the past year to ensure the successful integration of this sophisticated system.

“This is a significant milestone and we look forward to the enduring relationship and growing opportunities with L3Harris WESCAM.”

The WESCAM MX-20 features multi-spectral high-sensitivity sensors. These can be operated during day, low-light and night missions.

The system also functions from ultra-high altitudes, with skilful detection and accurate recognition capabilities.

L3Harris WESCAM general manager Jacques Comtois said: “L3Harris is proud to partner with GA-ASI to deliver sophisticated technologies for persistent surveillance missions and evolving battlefields.

“Being a Team SkyGuardian partner allows us to support our technology’s modular growth path with unprecedented levels of innovation and business opportunities globally for leading unmanned aircraft system programmes.”

In May last year, the two companies integrated the same technology system onto SkyGuardian RPAS. The integration was proved effective following tests conducted in adverse weather conditions in Canada.