General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS) will be integrated with the Leonardo Seaspray radar.

The companies are working on fitting the radar into the RPAS’ centreline radar pod.

The Seaspray 7500E V2 radar will enhance the MQ-9B’s capabilities.

The integration will enable persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

Leonardo’s Seaspray radar will also allow the MQ-9B SkyGuardian to detect tough surface targets, such as submarine periscopes and shipwrecked individuals in challenging sea environments.

The integration programme further develops the existing relationship between GA-ASI and Leonardo.

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According to Leonardo, the Seaspray radar fits well to the mission set of SeaGuardian.

The radar uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology to detect, track, and classify several maritime contacts.

Earlier this year, GA-ASI completed initial integration work of Leonardo’s SAGE electronic surveillance unit onto the SeaGuardian.

This integration enabled SeaGuardian aircraft to be equipped with the ability to ‘gather intelligence information on maritime and land-based radar emitters over a wide area’.

It follows GA-ASI’s announcement that it integrated the Lockheed Martin Legion Pod with the Avenger remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and moved to a 90-minute captive carry test.

Commenting on Legion Pod integration, GA-ASI Strategic Development vice-president J R Reid said: “Our flight demonstration revealed the quick reaction capabilities of the Avenger RPA.

“From software and hardware architecture implementation to sensor integration, the Avenger is a great platform for delivering critical capabilities.”

In November last year, Leonardo signed a strategic agreement with LACROIX, which would see the companies collaborate for the development and integrations of solutions in the naval countermeasures sector.