General Atomics Updates Automatic Takeoff, Landing System for Air Force MQ-9A

General Atomics affiliate has updated an automatic takeoff and landing system for the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-9A Reaper as part of remotely piloted aircraft modernization efforts.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. completed demonstration of three Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability features that will facilitate divert landing, expand the cross-wind limit and increase the maximum landing weight of the RPA. the company said Thursday.

The modernized ATLC is intended to help the unmanned aircraft operator input area coordinates into the MQ-9A’s mission profile to automate landing at a desired location or look for an alternate airfield using a multispectral electro-optical/infrared sensor.

David Alexander, president of GA-ASI, said the updates will allow “operational MQ-9A’s to land at alternate airfields, on their own, in case of inclement weather, changing mission requirements or damaged runways.”

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