The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $25.4 million sole-source, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide the U.K. Royal Air Force with logistics support for MQ-9A unmanned aerial vehicles and a ground control station.
Work includes deploying a field service representative and conducting repairs and technical support tasks to be performed at an international location through March 31, 2024. The contract involves foreign military sales to the United Kingdom, according to the Pentagon’s daily brief of awarded contracts.
The British air force said the MQ-9A Reaper, operated by a three-person crew from a remote ground control station, is designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, and attack missions.
According to the GA-ASI website, the turboprop-powered Reaper is based on the Predator remotely piloted aircraft. The drone can fly for over 27 hours at speeds of up to 240 KTAS and altitudes of up to 50,000 feet. The aircraft is designed to carry multimission payloads weighing up to 3,850 pounds, including electro-optical/infrared systems, maritime surveillance radar, laser designators, and various weapons and payload packages.
The MQ-9A Reaper is equipped with Honeywell’s TPE331-10 turboprop engine, a Digital Electronic Engine Control system for improved engine performance and fuel efficiency, a fault-tolerant flight control system and triple redundant avionics system architecture, GA-ASI said.