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Taiwan's MQ-9B SkyGuardian timeline accelerates

3rd May 2023 - 13:00 GMT | by Matty Todhunter in London, UK


The MQ-9B is split into two variants, the SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian. These are mostly indistinguishable, with specific payloads outfitting the SkyGuardian for over-land operations and the SeaGuardian for maritime operations. (Photo: GA-ASI)

On 1 May 2023, the US DoD formally announced Taiwan's acquisition of four MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones. The programme will conclude in 2025, four years earlier than originally planned.

The US DoD announced on 1 May 2023 that General Atomics (GA-ASI) had been awarded a not-to-exceed $217.62 million contract action for Taiawan's MQ-9B SkyGaurdian procurement. The contract includes four MQ-9B vehicles, two GCS, spares and other support equipment. 

The deal has been many years in the making. In August 2020, the US first announced the possible sale, with the Trump administration later notifying Congress that it had approved a $600 million deal which included four drones, two fixed GCS, two mobile GVS and 14 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigations Systems with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM).

Following this, however, the programme

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Matty Todhunter


Matty Todhunter

Matty Todhunter is the UAS Analyst for Shephard Media's Defence Insight. Before joining Shephard, Matty graduated with …

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