U.S. Air Force Special Ops Command Picks MQ-9B SkyGuardian

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 07:25 AM, March 7, 2023
  • 815
U.S. Air Force Special Ops Command Picks MQ-9B SkyGuardian
MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS

The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has bought three MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) produced by General Atomics.

MQ-9B will feature a key role in developing AFSOC’s new Adaptive Airborne Enterprise (A2E) concept, which envisions AFSOC projecting air power for special operations forces from beyond the horizon, using a family of large UAS and expendable, small UAS from permissive to denied environments.

The MQ-9B was recently officially selected to support Japan’s medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) RPAS Trial Operation Project scheduled to begin next month. This selection will allow the company to offer MQ-9Bs to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for conducting a wide range of tests.

MQ-9B has demonstrated airborne endurance of more than 40 hours in certain configurations, automatic takeoffs and landings under SATCOM-only control, and features company-developed Detect and Avoid System, among other upgrades.

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