PARIS AIR SHOW --- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical reconnaissance radars, and Diehl BGT Defence, a leading German defence contractor, yesterday signed a teaming agreement for marketing the Predator B UAS in Germany.
The German Government has launched a program called SAATEG (System fuer die abbildende Aufklaerung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes; In-Theatre Reconnaissance) which has identified a requirement for a MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) UAS capable of providing imaging intelligence for its armed forces in international missions. The German requirement is an immediate one, i.e. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is scheduled as early as 2010.
“The multi-mission Predator B has long demonstrated superior reliability, affordability, and surveillance capabilities,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “We are convinced it will exceed German expectations and are very pleased to team with Diehl BGT Defence in this important initiative. Diehl will assist GA-ASI in the execution of the program in Germany.”
“Cooperation with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems puts Diehl BGT Defence into a position of entering the future market of unmanned aerial systems,” remarked Claus Günther, executive board member, responsible for Diehl Defence business. “Moreover, this collaboration reflects a proven tradition of Diehl which possesses many years of experience in transatlantic cooperation.”
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, provides comprehensive solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator, Predator B, and the Sky Warrior™ Armed Reconnaissance System (ARS), and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations.
Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co. KG, a company of the corporate division Diehl VA Systeme, headquartered in Ueberlingen, Germany, is a leading defence contractor. The company is a competence centre for seeker-guided missiles, intelligent and conventional ammunition, as well as training systems. Moreover, it has established itself in the markets of reconnaissance and surveillance, protection and security with sophisticated technological solutions.
Powered by a turboprop engine, Predator B is a long-endurance, high-altitude unmanned aircraft designed for use as a multi-mission system – from reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and weapons delivery to scientific research and other civilian applications. Predator B is based on the reliability of the Predator airframe, avionics, mechanical systems, data link, and flight control technology but has a 500 percent greater payload capacity than Predator (850 lb or 386 kg internal, 3,000 lb or 1364 kg external), an endurance over 30 hours, speeds greater than 240+ KTAS (445 km/hr), and can operate above 50,000 feet.
It features a redundant flight control system with triplex avionics for increased reliability. Operational with the U.S. Air Force as MQ-9 Reaper, Predator B has also been acquired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Navy, NASA, and the Royal Air Force.