UV - Unmanned Vehicles

GA-ASI updates MQ-9A Reaper progress with USMC

17th September 2019 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper UAS has flown over 4,800 flight hours of direct support reconnaissance for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 (VMU-1) over a 12 month period.

The multi-reconnaissance sensor equipped MQ-9A has provided support to USMC forward operations on the battlefield, and has served as a proof of concept for the Deputy Commandant’s Marine Aviation Plan.

According to GA-ASI, building the Marine Corps’ Group 5 UAS community, this initiative will help inform the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) UAS Expeditionary (MUX) programme while also meeting the 38th Commandant’s Planning Guidance to expand unmanned capabilities.

VMU-1 has been using leased MQ-9A Reaper aircraft under a government owned/government operated (GOGO) contract to fulfil an urgent needs request for persistent ISR in the Afghanistan theatre since September 2018.

The GOGO capability fulfils the commandant’s directive for USMC Group 5 persistent ISR capability with strike and will achieve initial operational capability in 2020. VMU-1 will be the test bed and incubator to provide crucial information, lessons learned, requirements, and tactics, techniques, and procedures that will aid in the USMC efforts for a successful acquisition and fielding of MUX.

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