Tails for Predator B Series Aircraft to be Built in the UK
FARNBOROUGH AIRSHOW – 17 July 2018 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) and GKN Aerospace have declared their intent to collaborate on composite tails for GA-ASI’s Predator® B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) series via a Letter of Interest (LOI) signed here today.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with GKN Aerospace as part of our growing industrial collaboration team in the UK,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “We have seen the results of GKN Aerospace’s extensive experience in advanced composite manufacturing first-hand and look forward to working with its team.”
GA-ASI has been partnered with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit in the Netherlands since 2016 for production and sustainment of Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper® landing gear subsystems. In April of this year, GKN Aerospace Deutschland and GA-ASI entered into a Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) to expand GA-ASI’s carbon-composite manufacturing capabilities significantly by manufacturing major aerostructures for MQ-9B SkyGuardian, the latest evolution of the multi-mission Predator B, in Germany.
Following the successful completion of the required technical and commercial evaluations and agreement, GA-ASI also intends to perform composite manufacturing for Predator B tail structures at GKN facilities in the UK.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to be involved in the manufacturing of a key component of the proven Predator B aircraft family,” said Michiel van der Maat, vice president business development defense, Aerostructures and Systems Europe and Asia of GKN Aerospace. “Our goal is to deliver structurally lightweight composite tails to GA-ASI that meet the highest certification standards while delivering best in class performance.”
GA-ASI’s Predator B line currently includes MQ-9A, Guardian, MQ-9A Extended Range, MQ-9A Big Wing, MQ-9B SkyGuardian, and MQ-9B SeaGuardian. Over 325 Predator B aircraft have been built to date and have flown over 2.2 million flight hours supporting the U.S Air Force, Royal Air Force, Italian Air Force, French Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and other customers.
About GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies – for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Light weight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 51 manufacturing locations employing approximately 17,000 people.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is the leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than 5 million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Reaper, and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
For more information contact:
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
+1 (858) 524-8108