IDEX 2019

SeaGuardian stands watch [IDEX19D2]

18 February 2019
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) is highlighting the capabilities of its SeaGuardian unmanned aerial system (UAS) on stand 03-C34.

Building on the pedigree of the widely sold MQ-9B medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS, the SeaGuardian is a derivative specifically optimised for persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). The company believes that a more robust ISR capability would also allow regional forces to conduct persistent ‘overwatch’ around the Bab-el-Mandeb chokepoint and the Strait of Hormuz.

With a range of 6,000-plus nautical miles, SeaGuardian boasts endurance of more than 40 hours.

“GA-ASI flew an MQ-9B for 48.2 hours on 2,721kg of fuel in May 2017,” said Jim Thomson, regional vice president of international strategic development for GA-ASI. “Providing greater endurance at lower operating cost, SeaGuardian is ideally suited to complement manned maritime patrol aircraft in performing wide-area maritime surveillance.”

Nine external hardpoints on the MQ-9B offer configurability to meet diverse mission requirements. In the basic ISR configuration, the standard SeaGuardian is equipped with an HD electro-optical/ infrared (EO/IR) sensor and a high-performance 360° multimode maritime radar to support maritime patrol and surveillance.

Capable of operating at beyond-line-of-sight ranges at altitudes more than 40,000ft and in inclement weather conditions, SeaGuardian uses EO/IR full-motion video, synthetic aperture radar imagery and ground-moving target indication outputs to identify potential threats in real time from stand-off ranges.

Furthermore, it can be equipped with a multimode maritime search radar, an inverse synthetic aperture radar capability, and an automatic identification to confer a true maritime wide-area search capability.

The MQ-9B air vehicle leverages the mature system architecture of the legacy MQ-9A and its more than two million flight hours, while incorporating enhancements that support mission capability, global industrial expertise, and its goal of achieving unfettered access to national and international airspace.





(292 words)
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