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October 6, 2015

US to deliver four MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft to Spain

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) worth $243m to Spain for an MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

By Samseer M

MQ-9 Reaper

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) worth $243m to Spain for an MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress about the potential sale.

Under this proposed sale, Spain will receive four MQ-9 Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft and 20 embedded global positioning system / inertial guidance unit (EGI).

In addition, Spain has requested two mobile ground control stations (MGCS), five multi-spectral targeting systems (MTS-B) and five synthetic aperture radars, Lynx AN / APY-8.

The estimated value of the major defence equipment (MDE) is $80m.

The FMS will also cover the delivery of a unique and common spares package, support equipment, the United States Air Force (USAF) technical orders and country specific technical orders.

With this deal, Spain will also benefit from contractor logistics support for two years, contractor provided aircraft components, spares, and accessories, personnel training, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

These new deliveries will offer the Spanish military with improved intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

The Spanish Air Force is expected to use the MQ-9s for homeland security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism operations.

The deal will improve the country’s ability to meet current and future threats by offering enhanced ISR coverage that strengthens increased battlefield situational awareness, anticipates enemy intent, augments combat search and rescue as well as ground troop support.

"The Spanish Air Force is expected to use the MQ-9s for homeland security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism operations."

The principal contractor for this proposed deal is General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

Other sole source requests identified in the Letter of Request are Raytheon and L-3 Communications Systems.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system and is designed to offer a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.

In February, the US agreed to supply four MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft to the Netherlands.


Image: An MQ-9 Reaper in flight. Photo: ©General Atomics.

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