General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has announced the delivery of the final two MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and a ground control station (GCS) to the Spanish Air Force (SAF).

This marks the completion of the foreign military sale of four aircraft and three GCSs to the air force.

The 233rd Squadron at Talavera la Real Air Base will operate the new MQ-9s.

The delivery follows the completion of the acceptance test procedures (ATP), which were carried out at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility.

The US Air Force MQ-9 System Program Office (SPO) witnessed the ATPs, on behalf of Spain’s Directorate-General for Armament and Materiel (DGAM) procurement team.

The success of the ATPs along with the integration of System 1 by the SAF, is said to have resulted in the award of Airworthiness Military Type Certificate for the aircraft from Spain.

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It is said to be the first instance where the certificate was awarded to MQ-9A Block 5.

With this, the entire system and maintenance are certified as safe for the personnel on the air and ground.

GA-ASI International Strategic Development VP Tommy Dunehew said: “We are proud of our partnership with the Spanish Air Force.

“We appreciate the confidence the Spanish authorities have shown in the MQ-9 by issuing this type certificate and we look forward to seeing the system successfully operate in support of the country´s national intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements.”

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