SAN DIEGO – 13 November 2017 – The remote detection and tracking of submerged contacts, such as submarines, was demonstrated using a MQ-9 Predator® B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) during a U.S. Naval exercise on October 12th. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) participated in this successful demonstration of new maritime patrol capabilities that included anti-submarine warfare.
Sonobuoys were deployed by U.S. Navy helicopters and acoustic data gathered from the sonobuoys were used to track underwater targets. The data was transmitted to the MQ-9 and processed onboard, then relayed to the MQ-9’s Ground Control Station (GCS) several hundred miles away from the target area. The event successfully paired sonobuoy receiver, supplied by Ultra Electronics, and data processing technology, provided by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, onboard the MQ-9. A track solution was calculated and transmitted from the aircraft to the Ground Control Station (GCS) via SATCOM. This technology will provide long-range patrol and relay capabilities to the MQ-9 to augment maritime mission sets.
“This test demonstrated the ability of our RPA to detect submarines and provide persistent tracking of submerged targets,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI.
The MQ-9 was also equipped with GA-ASI’s Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. The Lynx radar featured its Maritime Wide-area Search (MWAS) mode, which detects maritime surface targets over a wide area with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) for target classification. The aircraft’s Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR), high-definition Full-motion Video (FMV) camera supports the identification of surface vessels. These sensor contacts are correlated with the Automatic Identification System (AIS) to verify target identity. Additionally, the MQ-9 can be fitted with a centerline pod that can house a longer-range, 360-degree field of regard maritime surface search radar for enhanced surveillance over water.
The flight test was conducted over the Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) west of San Clemente Island.
Hi-resolution photos of the Lynx radar are available to qualified media outlets from the listed GA-ASI media contact.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. Celebrating over 25 years of aviation innovation, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
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