General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business transferred ownership of two Reaper unmanned aircraft systems, ground control terminals and support equipment to the U.S. Marine Corps.
USMC leased the MQ-9A Block 5 UAS for three years under a contractor-owned, contractor-operated construct before the military branch acquired the drones under the Marine Air-Ground Task Force’s UAS Expeditionary Program of Record, the company said Wednesday.
David Alexander, president of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., noted the Marines sought to understand MUX program requirements and have seen how the vehicle could help them perform long-range sensing operations.
“It was a great example of how a customer can ‘try before you buy’ our aircraft,” Alexander added.
The service branch plans to buy 16 new units of the MQ-9A and expects the platform to achieve early operational capability status in 2023.