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GA-ASI launches SkyGuardian global support solutions


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announces SkyGuardian Global Support Solutions (SGSS), a new service and support program for GA-ASI customers operating the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and the maritime variant SeaGuardian. SGSS provides operators with reduced lifecycle costs and low risk by providing a guaranteed full-sustainment solution that allows for maximum system availability, commonality, and access to crew training at an affordable cost-per-flight-hour.

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GA ASI launches SkyGuardian global support solutions 01 MQ-9B SeaGuardian (Picture source: GA-ASI)


“We’re drawing on our past experience with Performance Based Logistics programs,” said Vice President of Sustainment Sam Richardson. “SGSS will maximize fleet lifecycle savings by leveraging the economy of scale created by the expansion of the global fleet of MQ‑9B aircraft.”

SGSS will lower lifecycle costs for customers by leveraging the cost of sustainment across all MQ-9B operators. The plan merges resources, especially for regional operators, to create synergies in procurement, management, and depot repairs. This “Big Fleet Approach” provides collective buying power that incentivizes suppliers and subcontractors to create long-term contractual arrangements and innovative solutions to provide increased customer support and cost savings that are passed down to the customer. MQ-9B users who operate either a large fleet or small fleet will collectively realize significant cost savings.

Services provided by SGSS include spare parts and depot-repair management, engineering field support and program sustainment engineering. SGSS has a customer-led governance structure that coordinates operator requirements and directs priorities for allocation of combined resources, making sustainability more affordable and predictable for customers.

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


GA ASI launches SkyGuardian global support solutions 02 MQ-9B SkyGuardian (Picture source: GA-ASI)