General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) has successfully conducted flight test with Leonardo’s Seaspray 7500E V2 radar.

The first flight demonstrated the capabilities of Leonardo’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

GA-ASI International Strategic Development vice-president Robert Schoeffling said: “The benefits of this maritime patrol radar (MPR) in the complex littoral and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) environment will add world-class situational awareness for our RPA.”

Leonardo’s maritime-focused 7500E V2 radar is the latest variant of the Seaspray AESA family of radar, which enhances the operationally proven 7500E.

The latest version of radar, designed and developed in Edinburgh, UK, features updated receiver technology and latest processor, to meet the evolving requirements of the ISR missions.

The Seaspray radar also enhances the capabilities of different GA-ASI’s remotely piloted aircraft. 

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Apart from MQ-9 Block 5 RPA, the new radar is being equipped on the MQ-9B SeaGuardian RPA.

In January last year, the companies started working on the integration of Seaspray radar onto the MQ-9B SeaGuardian RPA.

Leonardo Radar and Advanced Targeting sales vice-president Tony Innes said: “GA-ASI are an important partner and I’m delighted to see our joint projects generating interest in the market.

“Seaspray’s long-range, wide-area maritime and ground surveillance capability makes it an ideal fit for the MQ-9A and MQ-9B.

“The V2 offers significant range increases for certain critical modes, improved maritime detection and the ability to handle a high number of targets, while improving on its already-capable over-land mode suite.”