General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the global leader in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), is selected to support the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS Trial Operation Project. The project will feature GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian® and will begin in April 2023.
SeaGuardian will be used to conduct various tests to review adaptability to support JMSDF’s manned-unmanned teaming missions and its level of manpower reduction. The Japanese government announced that Japan Coast Guard and JMSDF will be exchanging the data obtained by the MQ-9Bs operated for each of the government’s branches.
“We’re pleased to support the JMSDF’s trial operation with our SeaGuardian UAS,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We know there is a need in Japan and worldwide for affordable long-endurance airborne surveillance in the maritime domain.”
SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and a High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.
SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian® are revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing true all-weather capability and are built to achieve Type Certification based on STANAG-4671 (NATO standard) airworthiness compliance. This feature, along with GA-ASI’s operationally proven collision avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace.