The U.K. defense ministry has selected General Atomics to provide a variant of its Predator B remotely piloted aircraft system in support of the country’s intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance needs.
General Atomics said Monday the U.K. will acquire modified Certifiable Predator B RPA systems to replace its line of Predator B aircraft starting 2018.
The company added its aeronautical systems business segment will deliver CPB to the U.K. through a hybrid foreign military sales and direct commercial sales deal with the U.S. government.
The General Atomics business unit conducts an independent research and development effort to produce CPB as a Predator B variant that meets NATO’s airworthiness requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles, the company noted.
CPB is scheduled for an airframe flight test in late 2016.
Predator B — known as MQ-9 Reaper by U.S. and U.K. air force customers — is a turboprop-powered aircraft that works to operate in up to 50,000 feet and carry up to 3,850 pounds of payload.