General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been selected to support the Japanese Coast Guard (JCG)’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Project with its MQ-9B SeaGuardian. Operations will begin in October 2022.
SeaGuardian will be used to conduct wide-area maritime surveillance to support JCG’s search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement missions. This project follows a series of successful JCG flight trials in 2020 that used SeaGuardian to validate the same JCG missions in accordance with Japan’s ‘Policy on Strengthening the Maritime Security Systems,’ using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to perform maritime wide-area surveillance.
“We’re proud to support the JCG’s maritime surveillance mission with our SeaGuardian UAS,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “The system’s ability to provide affordable, extremely long-endurance airborne surveillance with long-range sensors in the maritime domain is unprecedented.”
SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.
SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian are revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and full compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO UAV airworthiness standard). This feature, along with GA-ASI’s operationally proven, collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace.