Canada’s upcoming fleet of drones will be equipped with electro-optical/infrared imaging capabilities to enable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
L3Harris Technologies will begin delivery of its WESCAM MX-20D EO/IR to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. for Canada’s new MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft systems.
“We’re proud to equip the MQ-9B SkyGuardian with a cost-effective and fully compliant EO/IR solution capable of delivering significant technical capabilities to the users,” said GA-ASI President David Alexander.
The MQ-9B all-weather drone boasts exceptionally long endurance and range. It is capable of conducting auto takeoff and landing over satellite-only control. According to GA-ASI, the RPAS can safely operate in unsegregated airspace using the company’s Detect and Avoid system
In December, Ottawa placed an order for SkyGuardians to monitor its vast territory, even in harsh weather conditions, a purchase in line with its Strong, Secure, Engaged defense policy. Canada also provides advanced RPAS to support NATO, United Nations and North American Aerospace Defense Command missions.
The first MQ-9B SkyGuardian equipped with L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-20D EO/IR is expected to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2028.