General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) announced that its MQ-9B MALE UAVS will be able to utilize both the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and European Galileo satellite constellation for its navigation systems.
This will provide greater flexibility for its export customers worldwide, who will be able to switch from one constellation to another in the event connectivity is ever lost or denied.
The baseline MQ-9B was originally designed to include a triplex navigation system based on GPS navigation but to meet the requirement to support the Galileo navigation equipment, a new navigation receiver has now been added.
“Many of our US and international partners have plans to produce multi-constellation navigation receivers,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “The multi-constellation receivers will add to the operational flexibility of the MQ-9B and will benefit our international and domestic customers, especially those based in Europe.”
The Global Navigation Satellite System created by the European Union via the European Space Agency goes by the name of Galileo.
The MQ-9B is the latest evolution of GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator B fleet.
SkyGuardian is the name given to baseline MQ-9B aircraft, while the maritime surveillance variant is called SeaGuardian.
A weaponized variant of the MQ-9B is being acquired by the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) under the PROTECTOR RG Mk1 programme.
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