Spain To fly Predator B Reaper Drones

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The government of Spain has selected General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) to deliver Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems to the Spanish Air Force. The aircraft will support the nation’s airborne surveillance and reconnaissance requirements.The Spanish Ministry of Defense has awarded GA-ASI the delivery of one Predator B RPA system for the Spanish Armed Forces to include four aircraft equipped with MTS-B Electro-optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) sensors and GA-ASI’s Block 20A Lynx Multi-mode Radar, two Block 30 Ground Control Stations (GCS), and Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and Line-of-Sight (LOS) data link capabilities by means of a Spanish-U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.

The Spanish MoD allocated EUR25 million euros (US$27 million) for the program in 2016 and is expected spend EUR171 million (US$188 million) for the full procurement through 2020. Spain favored the Reaper over the Heron TP proposed by a IAI and Airbus.

GA-ASI Has teamed with the Spanish group SENER as technological teammate. “We look forward to working with teammate SENER,” said Linden Blue, GA-ASI CEO, he added that the company is developing collaborative partnerships with other Spanish companies to help ensure the long-term success of the program.

GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator B is a long-endurance, medium-high-altitude RPA that features an extensive payload capacity (850 lb/386 kg internally, 3,750 lb/1,700 kg externally), with a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet/15240 meters, and can stay aloft for up to 27 hours. Complementing this capability, SENER and Spanish industry will leverage their proven engineering and manufacturing experience to optimize sustainment and capability of the Predator B system in support of the Spanish Armed Forces.

Predator B is currently operationalwith the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, French Air Force and the Italian Air Force.Some 245 Predator B aircraft have amassed more than one million flight hours since first flight in 2001.