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Posted: November 13, 2017 6:06 PM

MQ-9 Used in Successful Anti-Submarine Warfare Demonstration

SAN DIEGO — The remote detection and tracking of submerged contacts, such as submarines, was demonstrated using a MQ-9 Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) during an exercise on Oct. 12. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) participated in this successful demonstration of new maritime patrol capabilities that included anti-submarine warfare, the company said in a Nov. 13 release.

Sonobuoys were deployed by U.S. Navy helicopters and acoustic data gathered from the sonobuoys were used to track underwater targets. The data was transmitted to the MQ-9 and processed onboard, then relayed to the MQ-9’s Ground Control Station (GCS) several hundred miles away from the target area.

The event successfully paired sonobuoy receiver, supplied by Ultra Electronics, and data processing technology, provided by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, onboard the MQ-9. A track solution was calculated and transmitted from the aircraft to the Ground Control Station via SATCOM. This technology will provide long-range patrol and relay capabilities to the MQ-9 to augment maritime mission sets.

“This test demonstrated the ability of our RPA to detect submarines and provide persistent tracking of submerged targets,” said Linden Blue, chief executive officer of GA-ASI.

The MQ-9 was also equipped with GA-ASI’s Lynx Multi-mode Radar. The Lynx radar featured its Maritime Wide-area Search mode, which detects maritime surface targets over a wide area with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar for target classification. The aircraft’s electro-optical/infrared, high-definition, full-motion video camera supports the identification of surface vessels. These sensor contacts are correlated with the Automatic Identification System to verify target identity. Additionally, the MQ-9 can be fitted with a centerline pod that can house a longer-range, 360-degree field of regard maritime surface search radar for enhanced surveillance over water.

The flight test was conducted over the Southern California Offshore Range west of San Clemente Island.



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