General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) is working on a new variant of its Predator B unmanned aircraft system (UAS), aimed at achieving full airworthiness compliance with anticipated NATO foreign customers for the platform.
The San Diego-based manufacturer is envisioning a "system solution will be a multi-nation, certifiable, exportable configuration built upon the company’s Block 5 Predator B aircraft capabilities and Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station (GCS) layout," according to a company statement.
In an effort to meet the NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGs) and U.K. Defense Standardizations (DEFSTAN), GA-ASI is expanding its partnership with German aerospace and defense company RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH.
"It is imperative that we ensure airworthiness certification of Predator B both at home and abroad as coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan and nations transition mission focus to protection of the homeland and other civil uses," said Neal Blue, chairman and CEO at GA-ASI.
The U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force currently operate the MQ-9 Reaper configuration of the Predator B on targeting and surveillance missions. GA-ASI did not announce a scheduled completion date for the new Predator B variant.
Related: Unmanned Systems News