Military Embedded Systems

Unmanned MQ-9A Block 5 completed with GA-ASI for the Netherlands


July 09, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GA-ASI photo.

POWAY, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced the completion of the first MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Ground Control Station (GCS) for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).

According to the company, the aircraft will begin its acceptance testing later this year at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, Calif., and the aircraft will be delivered to the Netherlands before the end of 2021.

The total Foreign Military Sales agreement includes four MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft and four mobile Ground Control Stations, along with associated support equipment. MQ-9A Block 5 is designed to have endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, and can operate up to 50,000 feet.

It has a 3,850 pound payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds of external stores. It is intended to provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance capability with Full-Motion Video and Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator/Maritime Radar. MQ-9A Block 5 is also equipped with a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture. 

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