General Atomics Aeronautical - MQ-9B SkyGuardian

MQ-9B SeaGuardian®

Persistent Maritime Domain Awareness

MQ-9B SeaGuardian® is the maritime-focused sibling of the revolutionary SkyGuardian® remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) that has been missionized using “bolt-on/bolt-off” maritime sensors. SeaGuardian is designed to fly over the horizon via satellite for over 30 hours (depending on configuration) in all types of weather and safely integrate into civil airspace, enabling joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the maritime domain—day or night. This highly versatile maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft can seamlessly integrate a centerline wide-area maritime radar, an automatic identification system, electronic support measures, and a self-contained anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission kit. SeaGuardian not only integrates the most advanced maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, but it is also the first RPAS in its class to enable real-time search and patrol above and below the ocean’s surface.

SeaGuardian can be configured to conduct a number of maritime ISR operations, including but not limited to:

  • Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief
  • Search and Rescue
  • Law Enforcement
  • Anti-Surface Warfare
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare
  • Airborne Mine Counter Measures
  • Long-Range Strategic ISR
  • Over-the-Horizon Targeting

Anti-Submarine Warfare

Leveraging MQ-9B’s open architecture system, SeaGuardian operators have the option to integrate our ground-breaking sonobuoy management and control system (SMCS) and sonobuoy dispenser system (SDS). Together, these systems allow SeaGuardian operators to deploy, monitor and control sonobuoys from a single RPAS. Also, SeaGuardian has four wing stations available to carry up to 4 SDS pods, enabling it to hold and dispense up to 40 ‘A’ size or 80 ‘G’ size sonobuoys and remotely perform ASW anywhere in the world. In its standard maritime ISR and ASW configuration, SeaGuardian’s range encompasses a mission radius of 1200 nautical miles with significant on-station time for submarine prosecution, providing a low-cost, stand-alone capability or a complement to human-crewed aircraft for manned-unmanned teaming operations.

World’s First Type-Certifiable RPAS

As an MQ-9B RPAS, SeaGuardian is designed from the ground up to not only meet NATO standards (STANAG 4671) but also to comply with civil airspace requirements in the U.S. and around the world. Using GA-ASI's first-of-its-kind Detect and Avoid System and Certifiable Ground Control Station, SeaGuardian seamlessly integrates with normal air traffic just like other commercial aircraft. SeaGuardian’s remote flight station gives operators a similar, if not better, air traffic picture than the cockpit of human-crewed aircraft. Over the years, GA-ASI has been working very closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to approve MQ-9B for flight in civil airspace.

Learn more about SeaGuardian here