Remotely piloted aircraft system from GA-ASI to get trial from UK ministry of defense

SAN DIEGO. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) has signed a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) to complete the test and evaluation activities necessary to certify the Ga-ASI Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system to fly in civil airspace.

MQ-9B SkyGuardian is the baseline RPA that will become the Protector RG Mk1 once it's delivered to the U.K. Royal Air Force; the company expects delivery in the early 2020s. RAF operators will continue to evaluate the upcoming Protector using the two SkyGuardian test aircraft and the Protector cockpit.

The company reports that the DCS contract also calls for additional elements, including X-band SATCOM system verification, training material development, and logistics planning.