General Atomics Reaper Selected for Australia's First Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Nov 16, 2018)
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, today announced the selection of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper variant as the system which best meets the capability requirements for Australia’s first armed remotely piloted aircraft system.
Minister Pyne said the medium altitude long endurance aircraft can be integrated within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and would be fully interoperable with our allies.
“These new aircraft will provide enhanced firepower and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to a range of missions,” Minister Pyne said.
“Medium altitude, long endurance, remotely piloted aircraft have a far greater range than smaller remotely piloted aircraft and can continuously observe an area of interest for much longer than manned reconnaissance aircraft.”
The aircraft will be used to watch and protect ADF and coalition land forces, and provide reconnaissance support for search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
“Remotely piloted aircraft allow military commanders to make more informed decisions faster whilst providing the option to conduct strike and reconnaissance operations without risking the safety of aircrew.”
“The aircraft will be operated under the same laws of armed conflict, international human rights law and rules of engagement as manned aircraft”, Minister Pyne said.
Minister Ciobo said the project provides opportunities for Australian industry with associated infrastructure development and sustainment activities.
“General Atomics, as the original equipment manufacturer of the Reaper, has partnered with a large number of Australian companies who provide a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities,” Minister Ciobo said.
“This is a great opportunity for Australian industry and demonstrates Australia’s world-class capability to support cutting-edge technologies.”
The Government will now request pricing and availability data from the United States on Reaper variants to support future decision-making on the acquisition.
GA-ASI Selected to Provide RPAS to Australian Defence Force
(Source: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.; issued Nov. 16, 2018)
ADELAIDE, South Australia --- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), the world’s leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), has been advised that, following consideration by the Australian Government, it has been selected to provide the Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System under Project Air 7003 for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“We look forward to providing our world-leading RPAS to meet the Air 7003 requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “We’ll work closely with Team Reaper Australia partners to provide a highly capable and affordable RPAS to the ADF, while creating meaningful and enduring Australian jobs.”
The ADF joins other top-tier military forces in choosing a MQ-9 variant because of its proven multi-role combat performance. Known as the ‘operators’ choice, the MQ-9 is part of GA-ASI’s Predator series of RPAS, which is the world’s most trusted and capable Armed Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS, and hails from a family of RPAS which recently surpassed five million flight hours.
GA-ASI announced its intention to offer a MALE RPAS to the ADF during AVALON 2017 – the Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition – with the launch of Team Reaper Australia, a robust grouping of Australian industry partners. The team currently consists of ten Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities that includes Cobham, CAE, Raytheon, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, AirSpeed, Rockwell Collins Australia, Ultra, and SentientVision.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator, Reaper and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx Multi-mode Radar. With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike.