Leonardo and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) have officially signed a deal to invest in integrating Leonardo’s SAGE electronic warfare surveillance system onto the GA-ASI MQ-9B.
Integration work has already begun and the MQ-9B featuring SAGE will be available to order as soon as 2019. Upon successful completion of the project, SAGE, which is already in service with the South Korean Navy, Brazilian Navy and Indonesian Air Force, will be integrated into the MQ-9B airframe without the need for external pods.
SAGE will be offered off-the-shelf and integrated into the airframe as an available baseline configuration for MQ-9B customers of the Sky Guardian and maritime surveillance Sea Guardian.
SAGE, a digital electronic intelligence sensor with a built-in 360⁰ RWR (radar-warning-receiver) capability, is used to detect, identify and geo-locate Radio Frequency (RF) signals, such as radar fire-control systems. It can identify the location and parametric data of specific RF emitters from a single platform, enhancing the tactical electronic intelligence picture and situational awareness.
SAGE will be the first stage of this on-going partnership between the two companies. Leonardo and GA-ASI will work together to evaluate other ‘roll-fit-kit’ options, suited to specific mission roles, which can be proposed to customers including the UK.