Spain Orders Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper System

A US Air Force MQ-9A Reaper (Predator B) takes off from Creech AFB, Nevada, for a training sortie.  Spain has become a new customer for the type, ordering a single system, which includes four air vehicles.  USAF
A US Air Force MQ-9A Reaper (Predator B) takes off from Creech AFB, Nevada, for a training sortie. Spain has become a new customer for the type, ordering a single system, which includes four air vehicles. USAF

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA‑ASI) has sold one Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system to Spain. The contract was announced by GA-ASI on February 17. The system will support the nation’s airborne surveillance and reconnaissance requirements.

The Spanish Armed Forces Predator B system will include four aircraft equipped with MTS-B Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensors and GA-ASI’s Block 20A Lynx Multi-mode Radar. Also part of the deal are two Block 30 Ground Control Stations (GCS), and Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and Line-of-Sight (LOS) data link capabilities. The order was completed under a Spanish-US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.

Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI, said: “GA-ASI is proud to partner with the Spanish Armed Forces to offer our operationally proven Predator B RPA to fulfill Spain’s emerging multi-mission requirements. We also look forward to working with teammate SENER, a leading engineering company, and developing collaborative partnerships with other Spanish companies to help ensure the long-term success of the programme.”

Andrés Sendagorta, vice president of SENER, said: “SENER, as technological teammate of GA-ASI for the MALE [Medium-altitude Long- endurance] project in Spain, is delighted to make all its capabilities available to the Spanish Armed Forces in order to achieve the best integration of the new system in Spain. The MQ-9 is broadly considered to be the best system in its range to which SENER has been providing keen backing for years. Reaper will contribute significantly to strengthen our country’s Defense and Security system and will provide increased protection to our forces.”

SENER and Spanish industry will make use of their proven engineering and manufacturing experience to optimize sustainment and capability of the Predator B system in support of the Spanish Armed Forces. GA-ASI had announced on March 2 last year that it had teamed with SENER to offer the type for the Spanish requirement.

Predator B is already operational with the US Air Force, Royal Air Force, French Air Force and the Italian Air Force. Some 245 Predator B aircraft have amassed more than one million flight hours since first flight in 2001. Alan Warnes