MQ-9As to continue AFRICOM support under new task order
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) will continue to support contractor SMX with its MQ-9A UAS after the latter won a task order to provide AFRICOM ISR mission and intelligence analysis operations.
The contract covers continued ISR for AFRICOM using six MQ-9As supplied under a company-owned, company-operated lease agreement.
GA-ASI is a pivotal subcontractor to SMX for the AFRICOM Reconnaissance Intelligence Exploitation Services (ARIES) task order worth a potential $2.3 billion.
The new task order has a seven-year duration and options to extend through 2029.
ARIES aims to improve the US's ability to observe, orient, decide and act faster on information provided through a system of systems approach to intelligence collection.
When carrying its full complement of fuel, the MQ-9A can fly for up to 27 hours. This can be increased to 29 hours with an extended-range kit. GA-ASI's MQ-9 platform aircraft surpassed two million flight hours this year.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
UK flight test sees largest unmanned aircraft take off from a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.
CATIC have displayed its new AR-2000 drone at Dubai Airshow 2023, emphasising ship-based capabilities with PLA already purchasing.
Australia has ordered four Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton UAS which can operate as an uncrewed maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) alongside the country’s in-service Boeing P-8A MPA fleet.
The Khronos tethered UAS has been designed to be simple to use and has drawn on Elistair’s experience with hundreds of existing customers.
The use of long-duration Uncrewed Surface Vehicles for maritime surveillance and monitoring has become part of the fleet inventory as navies try to reduce the level of effort required to gather intelligence on areas of interest.
A growing number of uncrewed systems have been on show at Sydney's Indo-Pacific Maritime exhibition with a select few currently being trialled to see if they can enhance the Royal Australian Navy's surveillance levels.