Contract signature at ILARohde & Schwarz radios for Predator B
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Rohde & Schwarz today announced that they have signed a Teaming Agreement to integrate and flight demonstrate Rohde & Schwarz’s air traffic control radios on the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA.
The agreement supports both companies’ efforts to add additional German and European content into Predator-series aircraft. At the same time, the integration of the Rohde & Schwarz radios also supports GA-ASI’s effort to deliver a “Certifiable” Predator B RPA. GA-ASI is forecasting to deliver aircraft that are fully compliant with the airworthiness certification requirements of NATO customers, including STANAG 4671.
“We are continuing to integrate German and European payloads and communications systems into our aircraft while ensuring compliance with airworthiness standards,” said Linden P. Blue, CEO, GA-ASI.
In the final design configuration, two radio systems will be placed in the aircraft, along with potentially another two radios in the Ground Control System (GCS). The R&S MR6000A—from the Rohde & Schwarz VHF/UHF R&S M3AR airborne transceiver family—is the first radio of its kind in the world that meets civil aviation certification requirements and ensures compatibility with military and civilian avionics specifications.
The first flight test of Predator B with a single R&S MR6000A radio system is scheduled for later this year at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. The test will encompass verification of control and frequency management using the Beyond-Line-of- Sight (BLOS) communications path. In addition, GA-ASI foresees an adjunct demonstration of a radio relay and communication to dismounted soldiers should flight resources allow.
GA-ASI’s Certifiable Predator B is envisioned to be a multi-nation, certifiable, exportable configuration built upon the company’s Block 5 Predator B aircraft capabilities and Advance Cockpit GCS layout. In April 2013, the company expanded its relationship with its German partner, RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, to allow for increased collaboration in establishing compliance with NATO airworthiness standards.