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Predator B providing California wildfire recon

28th November 2019 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A California Air National Guard (CA ANG) Predator B/MQ-9 RPAS is providing real-time reconnaissance for California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) firefighting operations in Southern California.

The aircraft is equipped with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' (GA-ASI’s) Lynx multi-mode radar with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to detect fire lines even through smoke-filled skies. The Multi-Spectral Targeting System provides the EO/IR cameras with live high-definition colour and infrared video feeds to ground command posts. This 24/7 real-time imagery delivers critical situational awareness to both ground and air fire suppression operations.

CA ANG’s 163rd Attack Wing routinely performs aerial reconnaissance for firefighting missions upon request by CAL FIRE. Operations of the 163rd are based at March Air Reserve Base (ARB) in Riverside, California, and are deployable throughout Southern and Central California. CA ANG, the US Air Force and GA-ASI have created a joint back-up plan to launch and recover CA ANG MQ-9 aircraft when take-off or landing at March ARB is not feasible due to operational constraints, such as weather.

Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI, said: ‘Providing support for natural disasters is just one more way to utilise our aircraft. GA-ASI is always pleased to know our products can and will assist when these kinds of situations occur.’

MQ-9A Reaper


The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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