General Atomics Begins MQ-9B Unmanned Aircraft Validation Flights in Japan

MQ-9B SeaGuardian
MQ-9B SeaGuardian

General Atomics’ aeronautical systems business has commenced a series of flights for its MQ-9B SeaGuardian remotely piloted aircraft system as part of a demonstration for the Japanese coast guard.

GA-ASI said Monday it partnered with Japanese technical services company Asia Air Survey to conduct the SeaGuardian validation flights in Hachinohe, Japan, on Thursday.
SeaGuardian will perform wide-area surveillance as part of the exercise, which seeks to assess the unmanned aircraft’s capacity to support the Japanese coast guard’s maritime missions including law enforcement and search and rescue.

The RPAS contains sensor components such as infrared and optical cameras that utilize algorithms to detect anomalies and identify surface vessels over vast regions.

SeaGuardian also includes a multimode surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging elements, a full-motion video sensor suite and an Automatic Identification System receiver.

Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI, said the company appreciates AAS’s support in demonstrating SeaGuardian’s capacity for long-endurance airborne surveillance.
GA-ASI’s announcement comes after the company completed a demonstration for MQ-9 over the Korea Strait in 2018.

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