Top Defence Capability Leaders 2019
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

© 2019 FrontLine (Vol 16, No 2)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the MQ-9B SkyGuardian.

The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.

To fulfill Canada’s upcoming RPAS project requirements, GA-ASI has gathered a strong team of Canadian expertise. Team SkyGuardian Canada includes the following well-established companies with proven track records: CAE Canada (for training solutions); MDA (for surveillance and intelligence systems); and L3 WESCAM (sensor systems) – all ready to provide new capabilities to the Canadian Armed Forces. The team combines the best of Canadian industry with the world’s most advanced Medium-altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) RPA – the MQ-9B SkyGuardian – the next generation of multi-mission PredatorB fleet.


The first-ever trans-Atlantic flight of a MALE RPAS was accomplished in July 2018 as part of the RAF centenary celebration. SkyGuardian flew from North Dakota, USA, to Gloucestershire, UK, covering 3,760 nautical miles in 24 hours.

“MQ-9B is the world’s only RPAS being developed to be certified to fly in non-segregated, controlled airspace,” says GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. This is the result of a five-year, company-funded program to deliver an unmanned aircraft to meet stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO and various civil authorities.

The RPA is being considered as an option for the Australian Defence Force, which chose GA-ASI to supply the RPA system for its Project Air 7003. Belgium has selected SkyGuardian, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) also acquiring SkyGuardian as part of its Protector RG Mk1 program (scheduled for first delivery in the early 2020s).  

Capable of all-weather day/night operations, SkyGuardian’s cold weather engine start capability allows ground operations down to –41°C. They have an Electro-expulsive De-icing system for wing leading edges, anti-ice heated engine inlet, heated pitot tube and static ports, and lightning protection.

With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI aircraft deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness over land and sea domains.

Contact Info:

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
14200 Kirkham Way, Poway CA, 92064 USA
Contact: Aria Mahdion, Business Development
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1-858-524-8436
Web: www.ga-asi.com

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