General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leader in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), has been selected to support the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS Trial Operation Project. The project will feature GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian and will begin in April 2023.
SeaGuardian will be used to conduct various tests to review adaptability to support JMSDF’s manned-unmanned teaming missions and its level of manpower reduction. The Japanese government announced that Japan Coast Guard and JMSDF will be exchanging the data obtained by the MQ-9Bs operated for each of the government’s branches.
“We’re pleased to support the JMSDF’s trial operation with our SeaGuardian UAS,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We know there is a need in Japan and worldwide for affordable long-endurance airborne surveillance in the maritime domain.”
SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and a High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.
This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.
SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian are revolutionising the long-endurance RPAS market by providing true all-weather capability and are built to achieve Type Certification based on STANAG-4671 (NATO standard) airworthiness compliance. This feature, along with GA-ASI’s operationally proven collision avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace.
The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) began operating its new large-size unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in waters around Japan on October 19, 2022. It was reported that he drone took off on its maiden voyage from the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Hachinohe Air Base in Aomori Prefecture. –ga/adj/mgm (Pix: General Atomics/JCG)