Italian Air Force Conducts Maiden Flight of MQ-9A Block 5 RPA from GA-ASI

Italy has four Block 1s and two Block 15 Mobile Ground Control Stations
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 11:45 AM, December 6, 2023
  • 501
Italian Air Force Conducts Maiden Flight of MQ-9A Block 5 RPA from GA-ASI
MQ-9A Block 5 RPA

The Italian Air Force (ItAF) marked the inaugural flight of a new MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) on November 9, 2023.

The freshly delivered RPA, along with a new Mobile Ground Control Station (MGCS), is a part of the Mid-Life Modernization (MLM) initiative for the ItAF's RPA fleet, all facilitated through a Foreign Military Sale.

The MQ-9A Block 5 introduces notable enhancements, including increased electrical power generation, auto takeoff and landing capabilities featuring improved landing gear and datalinks, and integration of the latest version of the GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar.

As part of the Foreign Military Sale, the MQ-9A Block 5 and MGCS contribute to the modernization efforts for the ItAF's RPA fleet, complementing their existing inventory that includes four Block 1s and two Block 15 MGCSs.

The MQ-9 RPA is a medium-sized aircraft that has an operational ceiling of 50,000ft, a maximum internal payload of 800lb and an external payload exceeding 3,000lb.

The aircraft has a flight endurance of more than 14 hours.

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