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Australia: MQ-9B Sky Guardian chosen over Reaper


The Australian Government’s $1.3 billion program to deliver a cutting-edge armed remotely-piloted aircraft system is a step closer with the down-selection of the General Atomics MQ-9B ‘Sky Guardian’.


Australia MQ 9B Sky Guardian chosen over Reaper MQ-9B SkyGuardian (Picture source: General Atomics)


The next phase will focus on developing the MQ-9B acquisition proposal, which is scheduled for government consideration in 2021-22.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said this project will deliver Australia’s first armed Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.

“Cutting-edge technology of this kind, with advanced sensors and systems, would complement advanced aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and ensure that Australian Defence Force maintains state-of-the-art capability,” Minister Reynolds said.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP encouraged Australian industry to become involved in this billion dollar project.

“Local companies that provide a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities will have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities throughout this development process,” Minister Price said.

“Australian defence industries are world-class and are extremely well-placed to be involved in projects like this.