General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the US Marine Corps (USMC) are celebrating the delivery of the first new-build MQ-9A Extended Range (ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
The delivery of the first new-build MQ-9A ER is part of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) Program.
“It’s exciting to make this initial delivery to NAVAIR, which strengthens the relationship between GA-ASI, the USMC, and NAVAIR, while launching the MUX MALE (Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance) Program of Record from concept into reality,” said GA-ASI Senior Vice President for MQ-9 Systems, Fred Darlington.
GA-ASI was selected by the USMC in 2022 to deliver eight MQ-9A ER UAS as part of the ARES Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) contract.
The MQ-9A ER is designed with field-retrofittable capabilities such as wing-borne fuel pods and reinforced landing gear that extend the aircraft’s endurance to more than 30 hours while further increasing its operational flexibility.
The aircraft provides long-endurance, persistent surveillance capabilities with Full-Motion Video and Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator/Maritime Mode Radar. An extremely reliable aircraft, MQ-9A ER is equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and a triple-redundant avionics system architecture. It is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.