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GA-ASI to Integrate EDGE Group PGMs and Guided-Glide Weapons onto MQ-9B

Our Bureau - : Nov 14, 2023 - : 1:06 am

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced an agreement on the inaugural day of the ongoing airshow to integrate EDGE smart weapons onto the former’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA.

This is the first time that UAE-made smart weapons will be integrated onto a US unmanned platform, signalling a new chapter in US-UAE defence cooperation, and opening the door to further collaboration.

The UAE Armed Forces currently operate GA-ASI’s Predator XP and are working with GA-ASI and the US Department of Defense to acquire the MQ-9B. Under the agreement announced at the Show, the two companies will work together to integrate precision-guided munition (PGM) and guided-glide weapon (GGW) solutions from EDGE onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian.

“We’re excited to work with EDGE on this initiative,” said GA-ASI President, David R. Alexander. “Integrating home-grown capabilities onto our customer platforms is something we’ve done a lot, but we’ve never before integrated a non-NATO weapon system onto one of our RPA platforms.”

“We are proud to be working with General Atomics Aeronautical. The opportunity to integrate our smart weapons on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian will offer the end user multiple dynamic, highly accurate, and cost-effective ground strike solutions,” said Hamad Al Marar, President of EDGE Group’s Missiles & Weapons cluster. “We look forward to working closely with General Atomics Aeronautical on this programme and to enhancing our collaboration in the future.”

The EDGE smart weapons designated for integration include the DESERT STING family of GGWs and THUNDER family of cost-effective PGMs from HALCON, and the AL TARIQ family of modular, mission-proven, all-weather day/night long-range PGMs.

GA-ASI stated that it hoped that its work with EDGE would lead to more partnerships within the UAE defence industry in order to integrate domestically developed sensors and weapons onto the MQ-9B for the UAE and other customers.

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