AFP
  • Pentagon to Transfer F-35s budget to Trump’s Border Wall
    Pentagon to Transfer F-35s budget to Trump’s Border Wall 14 February 2020
    The Pentagon is seeking to divert $3.8 billion, mainly from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall. The plan, which came from the Department of Homeland Security in January, will be officially released by the Office of the Secretary of Defence. A list of talking points was sent across the Pentagon earlier today, noting that the money will go toward funding a 230-mile long wall. The biggest item on the list is a $650 million Ame...
  • Reaper UAV Fell in Libya
    Reaper UAV Fell in Libya 22 November 2019
    Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana / AMI), MQ-9 Reaper UAV crashed in Libya. Libyan National Army, said they shot UAV. Italy used the MQ-9 Reaper platform to support the Sic Mare Sicuro operasyon (Safe Sea) operation. Libyan National Army, UAV debris showed on social media.
  • First Sales from China to Europe 11 September 2019
    China sold its remote-controlled aircraft to a European country for the first time. Serbia’s military will receive Wing Loong , Chinese-built armed drones, in the next six months. “This sale will greatly strengthen the Serbian military, which will gain capabilities it has not had in the past,” Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in an interview Tuesday on state-owned television.  Wing Loong, also known as Pterodactyl-1, combat drones, which look similar to ...
  • UK Details Transition Plan
    UK Details Transition Plan 5 August 2019
    Britain is planning to retire its General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems in 2024 as the Royal Air Force transitions to its new Protector platform. The UK currently has 10 MQ-9 Reapers that it purchased as an urgent operational requirement for operations in Afghanistan. Today, they operate over Iraq and Syria, but none are destined for use in UK airspace. The UK currently is planning to buy 16 Protectors, a derivative of General Atomics’ self-developed, SkyGuardian platfor...
  • Belgium to Acquire MQ-9B SkyGuardian
    Belgium to Acquire MQ-9B SkyGuardian 27 March 2019
    The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Belgium of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $600 million.  The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 25, 2019. The Government of Belgium has requested to purchase four MQ-9B, RPA; two Fixed Certifiable Ground Control Stations; five AN/DAS-4 Multi-Spectral Targeti...
  • $123 million Order to GA-ASI
    $123 million Order to GA-ASI 25 March 2019
    The US has signed a $ 123 million procurement agreement with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Four MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper ordered under the agreement will be procured to the Netherlands under the FMS. Amsterdam's UAV supply demand was approved in 2015, but the deal was announced in 2018 at the Farnborough Air Show. Last January, Dutch staff began training in the United States. Delivery of platforms with automatic take-off and landing capabilities is planned to be completed by ...
  • An ELINT Payload Tested On Reaper
    An ELINT Payload Tested On Reaper 15 February 2019
      General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Raytheon Deutschland GmbH tested an electronic warfare payload on an MQ-9 Reaper. Integrated into a gondola that can be loaded under the MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drone, the ARDS (Advanced Radar Detection System) payload can be used to detect and locate radar emissions. The ARDS is equipped with a totally digital radar emission tracking system. The system is already ope...
  • First F-35s on the Way to Australia
    First F-35s on the Way to Australia 6 December 2018
    Australia is preparing to deploy the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in the country. AU-1 and AU-2 platforms which carry out pilot training missions in the United States since their delivery in 2014, have completed their duties there. Aircrafts have visited for the first time in 2017 in order to join air show. This time, AU-1 and AU-2 on their way back permanently. Platforms will be deployed at RAAF Williamtown Air Base. Aircrafts will arrive New South Wales on December 10th. Austr...
  • Australia Selected General Atomics’ Reaper
    Australia Selected General Atomics’ Reaper 18 November 2018
    Australia’s Minister for Defence Hon Christopher Pyne, announced the selection of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper variant as Australia’s first armed remotely piloted aircraft system. Minister Pyne said the medium altitude long endurance aircraft can be integrated within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and would be fully interoperable with allies. The Government will now request pricing and availability data from the United States on Reaper variants to suppor...
  • Drones Prepare For Dog Fight 20 September 2018
    The US Air Force (USAF) scored the first air-to-air kill for the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during trials late last year, the service disclosed on 19 September. The successful test late last year showed the U.S. Air Force that an unmanned vehicle like the MQ-9 has the ability to conduct air-to-air combat, much like its manned fighter brethren such as an F-15 Eagle or F-22 Raptor, according to Col. Julian Cheater, comma...
  • General Atomics To Upgrade USAF Reaper Drones For $133M
    General Atomics To Upgrade USAF Reaper Drones For $133M 23 August 2018
    US drone maker General Atomics has been awarded a $133 million worth contract to provide advanced sensor for the US Air Force’s Reaper drones as part of the modernization effort to upgrade MQ-9 Reaper surveillance and attack UAS. According to Pentagon press release, General Atomics will complete the development, integration, and flight test of an advanced sensor into an MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle in realistic test scenarios at continental U.S. and outside the continental U.S...
  • US Defence Bill Cuts JSTARS
    US Defence Bill Cuts JSTARS 26 July 2018
    US National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), recognised the US Air Force’s plan to replace the Northrop Grumman E-8 JSTARS with a new network of sensors spread across unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, called the Advanced Battle Management System. The new system will replace most of piloted aircraft with UAV. The NDAA bill adds $120 million to the General Atomics MQ-9 programme “to accelerate the development of the Advanced Battle Management System” instead of...
  • US offers India armed Guardian UAV variant
    US offers India armed Guardian UAV variant 24 July 2018
    Reuters claimed that, India received an amendment to its purchase of several General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Guardian UAVs from the United States. US had already offered to sell India unarmed surveillance platforms for the Indian Navy (IN) now it is changed to weaponized version of UAVs.  Based on the MQ-9 Reaper, the Guardian can be equipped with air-to-land missiles, anti-ship missiles and laser guided bombs. The proposed deal has a value of $2-3 billion. If the purch...
  • More Reapers to Europe
    More Reapers to Europe 18 July 2018
    The Netherlands chose the MQ-9 Reaper. The Royal Netherlands Air Force will procure the MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 for the needs of unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Reconnaissance). It is not clear how many systems will be procured, but the US has approved sales of 339 million US Dollars to provide the system, necessary equipment and services. MQ-9 Reaper made its maiden flight in 2001. Repaer's endurence is 32 hours and ...
  • Skyguardian is First Male to complete Transatlantic Flight
    Skyguardian is First Male to complete Transatlantic Flight 12 July 2018
    A Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) crossed Atlantic Ocean and landed at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford, U.K., July 11 . At the end of journey UAV became the first MALE RPA to successfully complete a transatlantic flight. The GA-ASI-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian took off from Grand Forks, North Dakota, July 10. The flight covered 3,760 nautical miles in 24 hours 2 minutes.
  • MALE UAV to cross Atlantic Ocean
    MALE UAV to cross Atlantic Ocean 27 June 2018
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. plans to make the first-ever trans-Atlantic flight of a Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). GA-ASI’s company-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA is due to take off from its base in North Dakota and embark on nearly 6,500 km journey to RAF Fairford piloted by an operator located at the aerospace company's Flight Test and Training Centre in Grand Forks. It has a wingspan of 79ft and can fly non-stop for in excess o...
  • MQ-9 Block 5 Will Have Extended Range
    MQ-9 Block 5 Will Have Extended Range 18 May 2018
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been awarded a $206 million contract to retrofit 122 MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft, the US Department of Defence announced on 16 May. Work is expected to be complete by 20 June 2024.  General Atomics will retrofit the MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper drones with extended-range, beyond-line-of-sight, and Barrett asymmetrical digital datalink computer (BADDC) router modification kits. These upgrades will enable the ...
  • US Agrees to Supply Predator B to New Delhi
    US Agrees to Supply Predator B to New Delhi 2 May 2018
    Indian and US diplomatic officials confirmed to Hindustan Times that Washington has agreed to let India purchase the MQ-9 Predator B. New Delhi was cleared to buy the Guardian variant of the MQ-9, which is designed for maritime surveillance, however, was in favour of acquiring an armed drone which operates over both land and sea, especially given the costs involved. Manufactured by General Atomics, Predator-B has both land and naval versions and can be armed with air-...
  • Belgium Selected MQ-9
    Belgium Selected MQ-9 3 April 2018
    General Atomics MQ-9 Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) has been selected for the Belgian Air Force's requirement for a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system. According to the Belgian Ministry of Defence's "Strategic Vision for 2030", two of four systems will be purchased between 2021-2025. Predator B's will replace the ageing B-Hunter UAVs. 
  • MQ-9 Contract to General Atomics
    MQ-9 Contract to General Atomics 2 April 2018
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been awarded a $295,5 million contract for the production of the MQ-9 Reaper aircraft in the fiscal 2017 production configuration. The work is expected to be completed by 29 July 2021.  The number of UAVs to be produced was not disclosed in the US Department of Defense announcement made on 29 March.
  • 20,000 Flight Hours Declaration for MQ-9
    20,000 Flight Hours Declaration for MQ-9 2 April 2018
    French Air Force announced on 3 March that the Reaper UAVs deployed in the Sahel-Saharan strip has reached 20 thousand flight hours. Deployed since January 2014 in Niamey Air Base, MQ-9 Reaper drones used in support of French operations in the region carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. 
  • RAF Prepares for Its 'Protectors'
    RAF Prepares for Its 'Protectors' 14 March 2018
    The UK Ministry of Defence revealed on 13 March that the Royal Air Force (RAF) is preparing to introduce Protector unmanned aerial vehicles into service, replacing MQ-9 Reapers it currently operates. The Ministry said the Protector Combined Test Team (CTT) is now coordinating the testing and evaluation of the Protector system. Also known as the Certifiable Predator B (CPB), the UAVs are equipped with multispectral targeting systems and AN/APY-8 Lynx IIe Block 20A synt...
  • MQ-1 Officially Retired
    MQ-1 Officially Retired 13 March 2018
    The US Air Force held the MQ-1 Predator’s official retirement ceremony on 9 March at Creech Air Force Base. The retirement marks the transition to an all MQ-9 Reaper force which will become the backbone of USAF drone operations. The retired Predators may enter duty with the US Navy, according to a previous statement by a USAF spokesperson. The Air Force is now working with the Navy to determine configurations and quantity for possible transfer. 
  • 'Predator' Transfer from USAF to USN
    'Predator' Transfer from USAF to USN 22 February 2018
    The US Navy is interested in acquiring US Air Force's MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which are slated to retire, a USAF spokesperson revealed on 20 February. USAF will end MQ-1 operations on 9 March.  USAF confirmed that it expects to complete its planned transition from the MQ-1 to the larger MQ-9 Reaper by the end of 2018. The Air Force is now working with the Navy to determine configurations and quantity for possible transfer. ...
  • USAF Requests %12 Budget Boost in FY2019
    USAF Requests %12 Budget Boost in FY2019 13 February 2018
    The US Air Force’s proposed budget for FY2019 calls for a 12 percent increase from FY2018 and includes increasing the number of F-35As, KC-46 tankers, MQ-9 Reapers.  According to budget documents released by the Pentagon Monday, the Air Force hopes to acquire 48 F-35A fighters in 2019 along with 15 KC-46 tankers which is the same as in the previous two years. Planning to retire MQ-1s starting from this year, USAF wants to buy 29 MQ-9s as replacement.  ...
  • USAF retires MQ-1 in summer 2018
    USAF retires MQ-1 in summer 2018 1 January 2018
    The U.S. Air Force will retire the MQ-1 this summer, Air Force Times reports.  The Air Force has already begun transitioning from the MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft to the MQ-9 Reaper, but the Predator will be officially retired by summer 2018. Airmen have flown the Predator for the past 21 years, but the Reaper can fly faster and carry more munitions, according to the Defence Department. In the past, RPAs were mostly used for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, but curre...
  • More UAV's
    More UAV's 27 December 2017
    General Atomics has inked a new agreement with the US. The deal includes the sale of the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper. Contract’s worth is $ 328.8 million. It includes logistics, maintenance, repair and other technical support as well as the supply of platforms. Delivery completion is scheduled for on December 31, 2018
  • GBU-39 Boost to Reaper
    GBU-39 Boost to Reaper 8 December 2017
    General Atomics has been awarded a $17,4 million contract to integrate the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) onto the MQ-9 Reaper via universal armament interface on a dual carriage system. Work will be performed in Poway, California, with an expected completion date of 27 November 2021.  
  • MQ-9 Demonstrated ASW Capabilities
    MQ-9 Demonstrated ASW Capabilities 16 November 2017
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has used an MQ-9 Predator B remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to demonstrate its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability in a US naval exercise. During the drill, US Navy helicopters deployed a series of sonobuoys which were used to gather acoustic data to assist in the tracking of underwater targets. The data was then transmitted to the MQ-9 RPA and processed onboard before being relayed to the aircraft’s ground control station (GCS) loc...
  • Combat Debut of MQ-9 Block 5
    Combat Debut of MQ-9 Block 5 3 July 2017
    The MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 variant has made its combat debut on 23 June, successfully destroying its targets with two Hellfires and one GBU-38 during a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, according to a US Air Force statement. The Block 5 MQ-9 is equipped with improved electrical and communications systems which provides better software and hardware upgrades for future operations providing dominant persistent attack and reconnaissance to joint force commanders.&...
  • The US Increases the Number of Armed Drones
    The US Increases the Number of Armed Drones 18 May 2017
    General Atomics has been awarded a $400 million contract to provide MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles for the US Air Force, according to the US Department of Defence's press release on Tuesday. The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike drone for the USAF.  Reapers equipped with new GPS-maneuvered joint direct attack munition GBU-38 bombs become operational for the first time earlier this month. Already equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire missile...
  • Radar Warning Receiver On 'Predator B'
    Radar Warning Receiver On 'Predator B' 12 April 2017
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems demonstrated the Raytheon ALR-69A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) can work on a MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). According to the company's press release, ALR-69A provides the UAV with improved detection range and accurate, unambiguous identification in dense signal environments. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems plans further RWR demonstrations later in the year to include integrating with Link 16 (a military tactical data exchange network).
  • UAV Demostration in 'Red Flag'
    UAV Demostration in 'Red Flag' 27 March 2017
    The US MQ-9 Reapers demostrated capability during Red Flag exercise being held between 27 February - 10 March. The MQ-9s successfully integrated with F-15 Eagles and F-16 Falcons during combat training scenarios designed to test and challenge the aircrew and their platform in operations such as air interdiction, strike coordination, reconnaissance and dynamic targeting.
  • Winglet Doping to 'Reaper'
    Winglet Doping to 'Reaper' 17 March 2017
    The US Air Force is contemplating to upgrade its MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) to the extended range (ER) configuration. Under MQ-9 Block 5 Follow-On Reaper Capability Enhancement (FORCE) programme will include the fitting of new wings containing extra fuel tanks and winglets, extending both the range and endurance of the UAV. 
  • Predator to retire
    Predator to retire 25 February 2017
    The US Air Force announced on 24 February that the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which have been in service for 21 years, will be retired. Commander of 20th Attack Squadron stated, "We are planning to separate MQ-1 completely from flight duties until 1 July 2017". The MQ-1 Predator will miss the task of taking over the MQ-9 Reaper UAVs. MQ-9s are preferred due to its high definition sensor, high payload capacity and increased spe...
  • MQ-9s Undergo Maintenance
    MQ-9s Undergo Maintenance 26 January 2017
    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been awarded a $11,7 million-foreign military sales contract to provide maintenance services for Italy's MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). According to US State Department's press release on 25 January, General Atomics will provide depot repair, life cycle sustainment and software maintenance services for Italy's MQ-9A fleet. The work is expected to be completed by July 30, 2018.
  • Endurance of UAVs to Increase
    Endurance of UAVs to Increase 13 November 2016
    The first flight of an extended range Predator C Avenger has been completed on 27 October. The unmanned combat air platform has extended wings of 23,2 meters and an improved endurance of 15-20 hours. Powered by a PW545B turbofan engine, the Avenger can reach 400 knots. The manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has also extended MQ-9 Reaper’s (Predator B) range in February 2016 by refitting 20 meter-wings which increased its endurance approximately 13 hours to proivde almost ...
  • Armed Drone by China
    Armed Drone by China 7 November 2016
    Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has unveiled a new generation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Zhuhai Airshow China 2016. Wing Loong II strike-capable reconnaissance UAV has been developed by AVIC’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation unit, featuring an array of compatible weaponry. The Chineese UAV is similar in appearance to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc MQ-9 Reaper, featuring three underwing hardpoints on each sides. The maximum speed of the UAV is 370 km/h with a s...
  • New Operational Strategy to UAVs
    New Operational Strategy to UAVs 16 September 2016
    The US Air Force is to adopt new unmanned aircraft operation approach. The two-ship approach consists of a lead aircraft accompanied by a second, each providing the other mutual support. Two airplanes tasked to the same area on similar missions means multiple sensors and multiple weapons to achieve effects on the battlefield faster. The unmanned platforms planned to be used are MQ-1 and MQ-9. These two-ship operations involve two separate combat air patrols; typically consist of four aircraft...
  • Spain to purchase four Reapers 18 February 2016
    The Spanish military decided to purchase a Predator B/Reaper drone system consisting of four planes and two ground control stations with satellite links, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) said in a press release. "GA-ASI is proud to partner with the Spanish Armed Forces to offer our operationally proven Predator B RPA [remotely piloted aircraft] to fulfil Spain's emerging multi-mission requirements," Chief Executive Officer Linden Blue said in the release. U.S. Air Force ...