General Atomics Aeronautical - MQ-9B SkyGuardian / SeaGuardian

MQ-9B SkyGuardian® / SeaGuardian®

Delivering unmatched agility and superior persistent situational awareness over land or sea.


GA-ASI has developed a variant of the Predator® B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) series that meets NATO standards (STANAG-4671), and in cooperation with the FAA, will subsequently meet airworthiness certification standards domestically and around the world. It leverages both the Predator B RPA and Certifiable Ground Control Station (CGCS) as points-of-departure systems and identifies and incorporates the changes needed to achieve a "Type-Certifiable" system. The Royal Air Force was the very first to acquire the SkyGuardian, referred to as PROTECTOR by the British acquisition program, as a replacement for its Reaper fleet.

MQ-9B contains both hardware and software upgrades, such as improved structural fatigue and damage tolerance and more robust flight control software, as well as enhancements allowing operations in adverse weather including icing conditions. Additionally, the aircraft will be designed to survive bird and lightning strikes.

A highly modular and is easily configured platform with a variety of payloads to meet mission requirements. The aircraft is capable of carrying multiple mission payloads and includes a state-of-the art Detect and Avoid (DAA) system including space, weight, and power provisions to enable the retrofitting of an airborne Due Regard Radar (DRR) for operation in non-cooperative airspace.

The maritime variant of MQ-9B, SeaGuardian, can be configured with cross-domain capabilities for a vast range of maritime surveillance operations, including:

  • Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  • HA/DR – Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief
  • Search and Rescue
  • Law Enforcement (Drug Trafficking, Illegal Immigration, Piracy
  • OMSI – Oceanic Maritime Security Initiative)
  • Airborne Counter Mine Capability (Developmental)

Learn more about SeaGuardian here:

Perform over-the-horizon long-endurance, medium-altitude Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
Wing Span: 79 ft (24m)
Length: 38 ft (11.7m)
Powerplant: Honeywell TPE331-10 Turboprop
Max Gross Takeoff Weight: 12,500 lb (5670 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 6,000 lb (2721 kg)
Payload Capacity: 4,800 lb (2177 kg) across
9 hardpoints (8 wing, 1 centerline)
800 lb internal (363 kg)
4,000 lb external (1814 kg)
Power: 45 kVA
Backup Power: 2.2 kW
Max Altitude: >40,000 ft MSL
Max Endurance: 40 hr
Max Air Speed: 210 KTAS
Control/Data Links
Line-of-Sight: C-Band
Over-the-Horizon: X-, Ku-, or Ka-Band BLOS
Backup BLOS capable
  • Raytheon MTS-B EO/IR
  • GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar
  • VHF/UHF certified radios
  • DO-178 and DO-254 design assurance for software and avionics
  • De-ice/Anti-ice system
  • Sense and Avoid (TCAS/ADS-B/IFF – with provisions for Due Regard Radar)
  • STANAG 4671 compliant type certifiable design
  • 40,000 hour design service life
  • Weather capable
  • Damage tolerant airframe
  • Lightning protection
  • Automatic takeoff and land
  • Fire protected engine bay
  • Other customer specific payloads
SkyGuardian™ Weaponized Version:
  • Precision guided munitions
SeaGuardian Mission Kit: (Optional)
  • Multimode Maritime Surface Search Radar
  • Automatic Information System