General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA‑ASI) has renamed the industry team comprising Australian partner businesses to Team SkyGuardian Australia (TSGA) to develop and deliver MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

The team name, which was previously called Team Reaper Australia, was formed for the development and delivery of MQ-9B RPAS to Australia.

With the launch of Team Reaper Australia during AVALON 2017, GA-ASI offered a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) RPAS to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Under Project Air 7003, GA-ASI was selected to provide MQ-9B SkyGuardian to the ADF.

Team SkyGuardian Australia comprises ten Australian companies that provide a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and lifecycle support capabilities.

The team members include Cobham, CAE, Raytheon Australia, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, Airspeed, Collins Aerospace, Ultra, and Sentient Vision Systems.

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The Australian industry team was renamed to better accommodate the RPAS capability delivered to the ADF.

MQ-9B is GA-ASI’s most advanced RPAS.

The MQ-9B SkyGuardian has the capability to support Australian Land Forces with the vehicle’s Anti-Submarine Warfare, Electronic Warfare, self-protection and Detect and Avoid systems.

GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “GA-ASI is working closely with the ADF and our TSGA partners to deliver a robust Armed RPAS capability to Australia that meets the operational and industry capability requirements.”

Recently, the UK Royal Air Force announced its MQ-9B production contract through the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Further, the Government of Belgium also approved for negotiations for the acquisition of MQ-9B aircraft.

Last month, GA-ASI demonstrated three expanded automatic take-off and landing capability (ATLC) enhancements for MQ-9A Reaper aircraft.

The demonstration was part of the ongoing US Air Force (USAF) contract for the MQ-9A aircraft modernisation.