Friday, December 2, 2022

General Atomics gets $34 million foreign MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft contract

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has been awarded a $34,3 million foreign military sales contract for MQ-9 Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on 29 March that General Atomics has been awarded a $34,3 million contract action for the Spain MQ-9 Block 5 procurement undefinitized contract action definitization effort.

As noted by the U.S. Department of Defense, this contract provides for the procurement of two MQ-9 aircraft and associated equipment.


Work will be performed in Poway, California with an estimated completion date of March 2020.

For reference, MQ-9 is highly modular and is easily configured with a variety of payloads to meet mission requirements. The aircraft is capable of carrying multiple mission payloads and includes a state-of-the art Detect and Avoid (DAA) system including space, weight, and power provisions to enable the retrofitting of an airborne Due Regard Radar (DRR) for operation in non-cooperative airspace.

The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons — it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.

Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy/raid overwatch, target development, and terminal air guidance. The MQ-9’s capabilities make it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.