Australia has selected the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc’s (GA-ASI’s) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to fulfil its Project Air 7003 requirement, the company announced on 16 November.
The plan to field an armed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV was set out in Australia’s Defence White Paper in 2016. Although numbers have not been disclosed, it was previously reported by Australia’s media that the government is looking for up to eight UAVs and two ground control stations. A contract is expected in the 2021 timeframe, with deliveries to follow soon after.
The news of GA-ASI’s selection comes about 21 months after Team Reaper was launched at the Avalon Airshow in February 2017 to compete the requirement to supply the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a MALE UAV.
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