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.
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