General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has agreed to work with the United Arab Emirates’ Edge Group to equip its remotely piloted aircraft with precision-guided munition and guided-glide weapon solutions.
According to GA-ASI, the agreement will lead to the deployment of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian featuring Edge smart weapons.
The effort expands the existing defense cooperation between the United States and the UAE, likely leading to more collaborative projects, the company said.
GA-ASI President David Alexander noted that it will be the first time for the company’s RPA platforms to carry a non-NATO weapon system.
Under the partnership, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian will soon feature the Desert Sting family of GGWs and the Thunder family of cost-effective PGMs from Halcon. Also lined up to bolster the GA-ASI unmanned aerial vehicle’s lethality is the Al Tariq family of modular and all-weather long-range PGMs.
Even as the UAE Armed Forces already operates the Predator XP, GA-ASI said it hopes that the expanded partnership with Edge would open greater opportunities within the UAE’s defense industry.
The U.S.-based defense contractor added that it wants to see more UAE-built sensors and weapons ending up in its MQ-9B platform.