General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced the official launch of Team SkyGuardian Canada, consisting of Canadian industry teammates CAE Canada, MDA, and L3 WESCAM. The team aims to integrate the medium-altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, to fulfil Canada’s RPAS project requirements.
The MQ-9B is a 5,700kg Gross Takeoff Weight aircraft with over 40 hours of un-refueled mission endurance, capable of carrying wide-area maritime radars, long-range, HD-video, and other sensor payloads. It can operate in far northern latitudes through a SATCOM datalink, and transmit collected sensor data to any location in Canada in real-time.
“General Atomics Aeronautical Systems recognizes the importance of partnering with established Canadian companies and building on the important contributions that Canadian industry is playing in the global success of GA-ASI,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. We have a long-standing global relationship with CAE and L3 WESCAM and look forward to growing our relationship with MDA as a part of this new team in Canada.”
“We have assembled a team with proven capabilities and a history of industry innovation and support. Our objective is to expand the capabilities of our Team SkyGuardian Canada by seeking additional Canadian teammates – particularly small and medium sized businesses – as the RPAS Project progresses,” Blue continued.
“We are pleased to join Team SkyGuardian Canada to leverage our proud heritage in delivering aircrew training and in-service support to the RCAF and continue growing our international partnership with General Atomics to provide comprehensive training solutions for their family of RPAS,” said Joe Armstrong, vice president and general manager, CAE Canada. “Our expertise as a training systems integrator and our established supply chain of industry partners across Canada will help ensure we grow Canada’s defence and aerospace sector. Training and in-country sustainment services are key industrial capabilities that are critical to mission readiness for the RCAF as well as important drivers of export opportunities and success for Canadian industry.”
“MDA is proud to join the GA-ASI team. MDA has extensive experience across the breadth, land, maritime and Arctic, of Canadian Defence surveillance and intelligence systems and particularly as the primary supplier of unmanned systems and services to the Canadian Armed Forces. We will bring these deep made-in-Canada capabilities to the GA-ASI team to help deliver a world-class, operational Canadian capability based on the best-of-breed aircraft in this class,” said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA.
“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by General Atomics to be a key team member of the SkyGuardian Canada program,” said Cameron McKenzie, vice president, global sales and business development for L3 WESCAM. “Our innovative and mission-proven MX-25 EO/IR sensor system was designed, engineered and built right here in Canada and has demonstrated its effectiveness in the extreme environments and weather conditions experienced across much of Canada’s 18 million square kilometers.”
The RPAS Project will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with a MALE RPAS, and include indigenous capabilities, systems and services. This Project will provide new capabilities to the Canadian Armed Forces and bring new jobs to Canada’s high-technology sectors. The RPAS Project will enhance existing and future fighter, ISR and space assets through seamless NORAD/FVEY/NATO interoperability.