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General Atomics Demos Remotely Piloted Aircraft’s Comms Payload

MQ-9B
MQ-9B

General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business has collaborated with Ultra Electronics and an Air National Guard test center to evaluate an airborne communications payload that was installed on an MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft.

The aircraft utilized the Rosetta Echo Advanced Payloads pod during the flight test and initial operational assessment to transmit a video relayed by a Coyote drone to a ground nod at a range of more than 110 miles, General Atomics said Tuesday.

Maj. Curt Wilson, A5 branch chief for special mission aircraft at the National Guard Bureau, said REAP surpassed the team’s expectations for the flight demonstration and evaluation.

Wilson added that REAP is a part of collaborative innovation efforts among General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Ultra and NGB to demonstrate joint all-domain command and control technologies aboard MQ-9.

The ANG-the Air Force Reserve Command Test Center is looking to conduct a second test flight for the pod later this year.

General Atomics noted that REAP upgrades, such as LTE connectivity, is scheduled to be complete by mid-2021.

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