General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has been awarded an $11.7m contact to provide contractor logistics support for Spain’s MQ-9A uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) fleet and ground control stations.

In a Department of Defense contract notice, it was stated that the contract provides contractor logistics support for MQ-9A and mission ground control station to the Spanish Air Force, with tasks due to be completed by 31 May 2024.

A previous 2021 statement by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated the US State Department had approved the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of follow-on contractor logistics support for MQ-9A Block 5 UAV and related equipment to Spain, for an estimated cost of $110m.

The deal included contractor provided MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft components, spares, simulator software, personnel training and equipment, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.

In 2015 the US DSCA revealed that the US State Department had approved the possible FMS of four MQ-9 Block 5 UAV to Spain, including associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for an estimated cost of $243m.

The Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) platforms were to be unarmed and delivered in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) configurations.

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In November 2020 GA-ASI delivered the final two MQ-9A Block 5 UAVs to the Spanish Air Force, completing the FMS acquisition of four aircraft and three ground control stations.

Global military UAV market

According to GlobalData’s Global Military UAV Market Forecast 2023-2033 the sector was valued at $11.1bn in 2023 and projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.18% over the period. By 2033, the sector was forecast to reach $18.4bn and achieve a cumulative value of $172.9bn over the reporting period.

The market is expected to be dominated by MALE UAV segment, which accounts for 56.4% of the market, followed by High Altitude Long Endurance segment with 21.2% share.

Among geographic segments, Asia-Pacific is projected to dominate the sector with a share of 43.0%, followed by Europe and North America with shares of 30.4% and 18.0% respectively.