Saturday, April 20, 2024

Taiwan buys US-made MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones

Taiwan is acquiring additional MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones from the U.S.

In an March. 12 contract announcement, the U.S. Department of Defense said that General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has been awarded a $250 million contract for Taiwan MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned aerial vehicles procurement.

The contract award from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center enables the company to provide four MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles, two certifiable ground control stations, spares, and support equipment.

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While Taiwan is currently advancing its own Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAV program with the Teng Yun 2, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian represents a dedicated maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform. The Teng Yun 2, unveiled in 2020, serves a different role comparable to the MQ-9B Reaper UCAV.

Derived from a concept initially proposed for the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the MQ-9B SeaGuardian boasts advanced features tailored for maritime operations. Its synthetic aperture radar enables the detection of surface targets, including ships and submarine periscopes, while its capacity to carry sonobuoy pods enhances ASW capabilities.

Future enhancements for the SeaGuardian include the integration of ASW torpedoes and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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