An artist’s impression of the Protector RG1 in RAF service

BAE Systems is to help integrate the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Protector RG1 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into UK-controlled airspace.

The company announced on 24 January that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GA-ASI to support integration of the UK version of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian (previously known as Certifiable Predator B) into national airspace, ahead of the type’s introduction into Royal Air Force (RAF) service in the mid-2020s.

As noted in its announcement, BAE Systems will work to shape the regulatory environment so as to enable the sale and flexible operation of the UAV in regulated airspace.

To help it achieve this, the company will probably leverage the experience it garnered with the Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA) project it led. ASTRAEA was a GBP 62 million (USD 81 million) effort that utilised a Jetstream testbed aircraft to develop the technologies, systems, facilities, procedures, and regulations that would allow UAVs to operate safely and routinely in civil airspace over the UK. The project ran in the early 2010s, and Besides BAE Systems involved Cassidian (now Airbus) Cobham, Qinetiq, Rolls-Royce, and Thales.

BAE Systems’ current efforts are central to the RAF’s stated aim of operating the Protector in UK airspace, which is not something that it can currently do with the MQ-9 Reaper that it fields.

Source: Jane’s 360

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert, Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.