Belgium to Acquire MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAS

By Mike Ball / 02 Apr 2019
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MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Belgium of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $600 million.

The Government of Belgium has requested to purchase four MQ-9B RPA; two Fixed Certifiable Ground Control Stations; five AN/DAS-4 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems; fifteen Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI); five AN/APY-8 Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radars; and five Detect and Avoid Systems.

The contract also includes an Initial Spares Package (ISP) and Readiness Spares Package (RSP) to support a 5-year period of performance; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally. This potential sale enhances the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability of the Belgian military in support of national, NATO, United Nation-mandated, and other coalition operations. Commonality of ISR capabilities increases interoperability between the U.S. and Belgian military and peacekeeping forces.

Belgium intends to use these defense articles and services to provide for the defense of its deployed troops, regional security, domestic security, and interoperability with the U.S./NATO partners. The current fleet of Belgian Air Component aircraft have proven insufficient to support sustained and persistent ISR operations. The proposed sale will enable the Belgian Air Component to conduct persistent and wide area ISR, including target acquisition, target designation, providing precision coordinates for Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided munitions, battle damage assessment, signal intelligence, communication, and data relays. Belgium will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.

The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., San Diego, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact