SAN DIEGO—The U.S. Marine Corps surpassed 20,000 flight hours with their Marine Air-Ground Task Force Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) medium altitude, high-endurance MQ-9A unmanned aircraft, MQ-9A maker General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced.
GA-ASI has delivered eight MQ-9A UAS to the Marine Corps. Two of these MQ-9A aircraft are actively engaged in operational missions, playing a vital role in supporting mission-critical Marine Corps objectives. The USMC awaits delivery of 12 additional aircraft, which will fulfill their goal of three squadrons by 2025.
“This strategic acquisition of MQ-9As underscores the USMC’s commitment to strengthening their aerial surveillance capabilities and demonstrates their confidence in GA-ASI’s expertise in delivering top-tier UAS,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander.
Renowned for its fault-tolerant flight control system and triple-redundant avionics system architecture, the MQ-9A UAS embodies the industry’s highest standards of reliability and performance, surpassing those of many manned aircraft, the company said.
The USMC fleet will ultimately be entirely composed of the MQ-9A Extended Range configuration, enhanced with wing-borne fuel pods and reinforced landing gear. This model has been specifically designed to extend its endurance to more than 30 hours, enabling persistent long-endurance surveillance capabilities. Equipped with full-motion video and both a synthetic aperture radar and a moving target indicator/maritime mode radar, this advanced system provides the USMC with a comprehensive real-time situational awareness picture.