Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

Front page

GA-ASI introduces system-wide enhancements for Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced the successful first flight of the Block 1-plus Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper, an upgrade to the original Block 1 Predator B that has been in production since 2003. The MQ-9 Block 1-plus test flight occurred on May 24 at the company's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., with no discrepancies.

"We continue to enhance the capabilities of our aircraft, improving their performance to meet emerging customer requirements," said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. "The first flight of the MQ-9 Block 1-plus follows in the footsteps of the aircraft's combat-proven Block 1 configuration and is an important technological achievement that will provide increased effectiveness, increased multi-mission flexibility, and even greater reliability."

The MQ-9 Block 1-plus is a capability enhancement over the Block 1 configuration, which has amassed more than 420,000 flight hours across all customers. Block 1-plus was designed for increased electrical power, secure communications, auto land, increased Gross Takeoff Weight (GTOW), weapons growth, and streamlined payload integration capabilities.

With the completion of development, testing, and expected Milestone C decision this fall, follow-on aircraft to the MQ-9 Block 1-plus configuration will be designated "MQ-9 Block 5."

Featuring a new high-capacity starter generator, the aircraft offers an increase in electrical power capacity over the current Block 1 design. This increased power provides the aircraft with significant capacity for growth. In addition, the upgraded electrical system includes a backup generator which is sufficient to support all flight critical functions. This vastly improves the reliability of the electrical power system by providing three independent power sources.

Numerous new communications capabilities also will be available in the Block 5, including dual ARC-210 VHF/UHF radios with wingtip antennas, allowing for simultaneous communications between multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground parties; secure data links; and an increased data transmission capacity.

Additionally, the new trailing arm main landing gear will be included in Block 5, enabling the aircraft to carry heavier payloads or additional fuel.

Predator B is currently operational with the U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force as

MQ-9 Reaper and the Italian Air Force as MQ-9, with NASA as Ikhana, and with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Predator B/Guardian. The aircraft is designed to perform multi-mission ISR and "Hunter-Killer" missions over land or sea, with more than 130 vehicles delivered to date.

Press release issued by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems on September 5, 2012


 Contact details from our directory:
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
General Atomics Predator B


 Related directory sectors:
Weapons Systems

Enhanced listings:

Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is the leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, assembly automation and factory integration.

General Plastics Manufacturing Co.
General Plastics has been supplying OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies with flame-retardant foam core materials and custom flexible foam molded parts for aircraft flight decks and interior cabins for over 50 years.

USA Borescopes
USA Borescopes is a global supplier of world class visual inspection equipment. We are the one stop source for aviation professionals.

Samuel, Son & Co.
Looking for a quality metals supplier? Samuel can provide Aircraft Quality metals that meet Commercial and Military specifications

MW Industries, Inc
Design and manufacture springs, fasteners and related products for aerospace including: engine components, flight controls, propulsion, landing gear, interiors, avionics, and space exploration vehicles.

See our advertising tariff.


Monthly page limit exceeded. Please buy a subscription.

© Copyright of Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2016. Terms & Conditions of reading.