General Atomics Unveils MQ-9B STOL For Small Flat Tops

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Unread post10 May 2022, 20:48

General Atomics Unveils MQ-9B STOL For Small Flat Tops
10 May 2022 Benjamin Felton

"General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) today unveiled a new MQ-9B variant at INDO PACIFIC 2022, the international maritime exposition currently held in Sydney, Australia. The MQ-9B STOL (for short take off and landing) is designed to operate from flat top amphibious ships.

The MQ-9B STOL can operate from amphibious assault ships without the need for a ski jump or catapult. The new design features folding wings optimised for short takeoff and landing (STOL), as well as an enlarged v-tail.

Talking to Naval News at the show, General Atomics explained that the design is capable of operating from the U.S Navy’s America-class Landing Helicopter Assaults (LHA) and Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships. They can also operate aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra-class LHDs.

General Atomics is pitching the MQ-9B STOL to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as an expeditionary, shipborne alternative to the service’s new MQ-9As. The USMC currently plans to procure 16 MQ-9As through the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Systems Expeditionary (MUX) program of record.

In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have reportedly expressed interest in the design for operations from their Queen Elizabeth-class and Canberra-class vessels respectively. General Atomics is also in talks with unspecified “Pacific” countries. Naval News understands these countries are likely Japan (with the Izumo-class and Hyūga-class “helicopter destroyers”) as well as South Korea (with the upcoming CVX carrier).

While the MQ-9B STOL sacrifices some range so that it can fly from flat top amphibious warships, it still has a significant endurance of roughly 30 hours, far more than smaller ship-launched unmanned aerial systems.

Like the MQ-9B Sea Guardian, the MQ-9B STOL can carry and dispense sonobuoys, allowing it to provide long range, high endurance, anti-submarine warfare capabilities to any naval task force. Promotional videos released by GA-ASI also depict the MQ-9B STOL carrying AGM-114 Hellfire and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles."

Source: https://www.navalnews.com/event-news/in ... flat-tops/


MQ-9B STOL LHA USMC GA-ASI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7PkRQ8Hknw

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Unread post10 May 2022, 22:45

GA-ASI Grows Mojave Line With New MQ-9B STOL Package
10 May 2022 GA-ASI PR

"SAN DIEGO – 10 May 2022 – To further extend the versatility of its MQ-9B line of Remotely Piloted Aircraft, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced today that it will begin developing a short takeoff and landing (STOL)-capable MQ-9B aircraft, which includes the SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian® models. GA-ASI is taking on this revolutionary engineering effort to meet an evolving operational environment in contested expeditionary environments.

GA-ASI began STOL development in 2017 as part of its Mojave initiative. STOL capability was initially flown on a modified Gray Eagle Extended Range platform in 2021, but now the company will begin developing STOL on the MQ-9B, a platform already selected by the Royal Air Force, the Belgium Ministry of Defence and the Japan Coast Guard. MQ-9B STOL will combine GA-ASI’s proven long-endurance, highly reliable UAS products with the versatility to execute missions in more austere locations, opening the operational envelope for commanders across all Services and geographic locations.

The MQ-9B STOL configuration will consist of an optional wing and tail kit that can be installed in less than a day. The core aircraft and its sub-systems remain the same. Operators can perform the modification in a hangar or on a flight line, delivering a capability that otherwise would require the purchase of a whole new aircraft.

“Imagine taking the hard top off your Jeep. You lift it off, stow it in your garage and now you’ve got an open vehicle. If it rains, you put the hard top back on. We’re the same. Take a standard MQ-9B, put the STOL kit on, and then go fly,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander.

MQ-9B STOL, which is part of GA-ASI’s Mojave series of unmanned aircraft, also presents an opportunity for future operations aboard an aircraft carrier or big-deck amphibious assault ship. The wings fold so that MQ-9B STOL could be parked on the deck or in the hangar bay, just like other naval aircraft. When it’s time to launch, operators will start the aircraft, unfold the wings, and take off over the bow without the need for catapults. GA-ASI believes the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps will take note of this innovation as it opens the door to persistent and long-range Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations over blue water...."

MQ-9B STOL approach.jpg


MQ-9BstolLHA.jpg
Adding Short-Takeoff & Landing Capability to Industry-Leading RPA Enhances Versatility


Source: https://www.ga-asi.com/ga-asi-grows-moj ... ol-package
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Unread post10 May 2022, 23:17

Very interesting indeed...
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Unread post10 May 2022, 23:55

Here's an ideal take the MQ-9B and add the Lockheed Martin Vigilance AEW&C System. Which, could use the same APG-81 AESA Radar from the F-35.......

This would be a far better option than any Helicopter based solution.....

IMHO

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... sor-system
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Unread post11 May 2022, 00:24

Corsair1963 wrote:Here's an ideal take the MQ-9B and add the Lockheed Martin Vigilance AEW&C System. Which, could use the same APG-81 AESA Radar from the F-35.......


This would be a far better option than any Helicopter based solution.....

IMHO

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... sor-system


I would be surprised is an MQ-9 could generate enough electric power to run a radar that powerful.
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Unread post12 May 2022, 02:27

usafhk wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Here's an ideal take the MQ-9B and add the Lockheed Martin Vigilance AEW&C System. Which, could use the same APG-81 AESA Radar from the F-35.......


This would be a far better option than any Helicopter based solution.....

IMHO

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... sor-system


I would be surprised is an MQ-9 could generate enough electric power to run a radar that powerful.


Doesn't have to be the MQ-9 per se. Could be any drone.........
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Unread post13 May 2022, 23:31

General Atomics Unveils Carrier-capable MQ-9B UAV
11 May 2022

"...To cater to shipborne operations, the MQ-9B STOL is being designed with a folding wing so that it can be parked with a small deck or hangar footprint. The wing folds are asymmetric so that the long outer wings can fold to lie one in front of the other, keeping the height of the folded RPA within hangar limits....

...The MQ-9B’s automatic takeoff and landing systems can be integrated into existing ship systems, including the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System found on U.S. carriers. Start-up and launch of the MQ-9B are conducted from a compact laptop and, once the vehicle is airborne, control of the RPA can be handed over to other controllers, such as remote land-based ones using satellite communications, or to a manned aircraft in manned-unmanned teaming missions...."

Graphic: "A company impression shows an MQ-9B STOL taking off from an assault carrier in SeaGuardian configuration, equipped with underbelly search radar and pods under the inner wings for dropping sonobuoys. It is depicted with AIM-9X air-to-air missiles for self-defense. (Photo: General Atomics)" https://www.ainonline.com/sites/ainonli ... l-img2.jpg


Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... -mq-9b-uav
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MQ-9Bliftoff.jpg
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Unread post14 May 2022, 21:52

MQ-9B: An Ideal Solution for MENA and Global Security
21 Mar 2022 GENERAL ATOMICS AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS, INC.

"...The aircraft’s more than 30 hours of endurance mean it can cover broad sections of sea or land and give operators either high-quality broad area situational awareness or pinpoint detail about individual targets – or both over the course of a single mission.

MQ-9B SeaGuardian, when equipped with a maritime surface search radar, is ideal for work over the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean or the Arabian Gulf. The aircraft provides rich insights about traffic over a given area of open ocean or about the traffic bound for or transiting from an important choke point.

When needed, operators can focus from the big picture to look closely at an individual vessel, if needed – reading the name off its stern with the onboard electro-optical infrared sensor or assessing many other aspects about it with synthetic aperture radar.

Compound these capabilities over a national fleet of aircraft, and the volume and quality of surveillance and intelligence becomes obvious. But thanks to high levels of automation and cutting-edge software developed by GA-ASI to support customers’ use of unmanned aerial systems, it never becomes unwieldy. It becomes knowledge.

Regional ISR coordination
Suppose an MQ-9B operator detected threat activity in international waters, or elsewhere within a normal surveillance patrol. Not only could the operator decide and act sooner, it might decide to share that intelligence, including potentially in real time, permitting officers of a second nation to view what was being seen by the aircraft flown by the first.

Sharing intelligence could benefit all, especially if it prevents security incidents or helps constrain smaller ones from escalating into larger ones.

This concept is called “deterrence by detection” – denying threat actor the ability to act without being seen or to mass forces undetected on the surface ahead of an attack or other mischief.

Even if an opponent can detect the presence of the observing aircraft, which sometimes is possible, the effect is still powerful. A crisis might be defused by having been observed before it could begin. Even if an opponent attempts to act against the observer, as in past cases in which disruptive actors have fired upon UAS in the Middle East, it’s clear the intentions are malign. Regional powers and their allies then are in a position to respond quickly if necessary...."

Photo: "Photo: Courtesy of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc." https://sites.breakingmedia.com/uploads ... 24x683.jpg


Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2022/03/mq- ... -security/
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