3 MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones to be provided to U.S. Air Force by General AtomicsNews
March 07, 2023
SAN DIEGO, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) has won a contract from U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to provide three MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones, the company announced in a statement.
The MQ-9B is closely related to the MQ-9A Reaper, which is already widely used by the United States. This is the first U.S. purchase of the MQ-9B, the company stated.
"MQ-9B will feature a key role in developing AFSOC’s new Adaptive Airborne Enterprise (A2E) concept, which envisions AFSOC projecting air power for special operations forces from beyond the horizon, using a family of large UAS and expendable, small UAS from permissive to denied environments," the statement reads.
The MQ-9B is capable of automatic takeoffs and landings, a detect and avoid system, and other upgrades, the company claims, noting that it is also pitching the system to the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Japan.