General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has officially launched the new Team SkyGuardian Canada as a single solution to address the country’s multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) project requirements.
The team comprises CAE Canada, MDA, and L3 WESCAM. It will focus on combining the best of Canadian industry with the MQ-9B SkyGuardian advanced medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) RPAS for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
CAE Canada vice-president and general manager Joe Armstrong said: “We are pleased to join Team SkyGuardian Canada to leverage our proud heritage in delivering aircrew training and in-service support to the RCAF and continue growing our international partnership with General Atomics to provide comprehensive training solutions for their family of RPAS.”
The project has been designed to deliver a MALE RPAS to the Canadian Armed Forces, in addition to providing new capabilities and generating job opportunities in the high-technology sectors of the country.
The RPAS project will help improve existing and future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), fighter, and space assets through North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Five Eyes (FVEY), and Nato interoperability.
GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “We have assembled a team with proven capabilities and a history of industry innovation and support.
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“Our objective is to expand the capabilities of our Team SkyGuardian Canada by seeking additional Canadian teammates, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, as the RPAS Project progresses.”
MQ-9B SkyGuardian is a 5,700kg gross take-off weight aircraft with more than 40 hours of un-refuelled mission endurance.
Capable of carrying wide-area maritime radars, long-range, HD-video and other sensor payloads, the RPAS can operate in far northern latitudes through a SATCOM datalink and transmit collected sensor data in real-time to any location across Canada.