General Atomics is modifying its Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system to meet NATO regulations as the company aims to fly the drone in European airspace by 2019, DoD Buzz reported Thursday.
Brendan McGarry writes that the company is adding new features to drive fuel economy and comply with air worthiness requirements in the NATO Standardization Agreement 4671 and other European regulations.
Christopher Ames, director of international strategic development for General Atomics’ aeronautical systems business, told the publication the Reaper’s lightning protection and sense-and-avoid technologies are based on existing regulations to speed up certification for flight.
According to Ames, the regulations could also guide the Federal Aviation Administration in its own efforts to manage drone flights in the U.S.
“We’re sharing this information with FAA, NASA and other strategic partners to help inform what is in the realm of the capable and what should be a guide to a development of the rules,” he said to DoD Buzz.