GA-ASI Efficiently Completes Self-Safety System Demo on MQ-9 – Drones Information


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has successfully completed flight tests of a newly developed self-protection pod (SPP) on an MQ-9 remotely controlled aircraft (RPA).

The project was carried out under a Research and Development Cooperation Agreement (CRADA) with the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and with support from the Air National Guard (ANG), the US Navy (USN) and industry partner Raytheon Intelligence & Space, BAE Systems, Leonardo, Leonardo DRS and Terma North America. The demo took place on October 28, 2020 at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).

During testing, the MQ-9 was able to successfully track radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR) missile threats, take countermeasures, and provide real-time threat awareness and protection in a simulated, competitive environment.

“Threat awareness and survivability are important skills required for the MQ-9 to operate in a controversial environment,” said David R. Alexander, president of GA-ASI. “GA-ASI’s goal is to expand the mission range of the MQ-9 to not only meet the needs of warfighters today, but also to ensure that the platform remains a viable, capable and highly adaptable platform for future combat . “

SPP uses mature (TRL9), state-of-the-art Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) to create comprehensive awareness and countermeasures. The system is based on an earlier joint demonstration of an AN / ALR-69A (V) (RWR) radar warning receiver in 2017, which demonstrated the usefulness of a RWR in increasing the crew’s situational awareness. In addition to the RI & S AN / ALR-69A (V), the pod has the DAIRCM (Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure) system from Leonardo DRS AN / AAQ-45, which has a single sensor for both the 2-color IR missile warning as well as for wide field warning of-view gimbal used for threat countermeasures. BAE Systems’ ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System is used to dispense flares, chaff, and other bait in the air. The RF countermeasure of choice, which was successfully demonstrated during the test, was Leonardo’s BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD), a small, self-contained, single-use DRFM (digital radio frequency memory) bait.

The heart of the self-defense pod is the Terma AN / ALQ-213 electronic war management system, which provides the interface, status, status, and control and monitoring for the various systems installed in the pod. The AN / ALQ-213 acts as the Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) manager, coordinating the various threat warning and delivery systems to automatically output the appropriate sequencing pattern and consumables to protect the MQ-9.

About GA-ASI

GA-ASI, a subsidiary of General Atomics, is a leading developer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optical and related mission systems, including the Predatorยฎ RPA series and the Lynxยฎ Multi-Mode -Radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI offers a durable, mission-capable aircraft with built-in sensor and data link systems necessary for sustained flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also manufactures a variety of ground control stations and software for sensor control / image analysis, offers training and support for pilots and develops metamaterial antennas.

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