Remotely Piloted Aircraft Completes Seamless Flight Between Two Military Airspaces

The MQ-9B Seaguardian hit a milestone by flying between the military airspaces of two countries 7 photos
Photo: GA-ASI
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) hit a milestone in the development of remotely piloted aircraft. Together with the British Royal Force(RAF), the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), and airspace authorities in both countries, the creator of the MQ-9B succeeded in operating a pioneering unmanned flight between the UK and the Netherlands.
GA-ASI announced that the MQ-9B Seaguardian remotely-piloted aircraft recently completed a flight from RAF Waddington, across the North Sea, to the Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands, as part of a multi-day demonstration that began in August in will continue throughout September.

The Seaguardian gets to show off its capabilities during this series of maritime demonstrations, which comes after the RNLAF ordered four of the MQ-9A Reaper, with the first one expected to be delivered later this year. The MQ-9B is a different unmanned aircraft model with two versions, the Skyguardian and the Seaguardian.

This milestone flight was possible due to the seamless cooperation of two countries and between civilian and military airspaces. Up until the border between the UK’s and the Netherlands ’ controlled air space, UK military air traffic controllers at Swanwick controlled the flight, then the Dutch military air traffic controllers took over, at a pre-established crossing point.

During the series of flights, the MQ-9B showcased its endurance, maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, plus its innovative Detect and Avoid System. Thanks to this safety feature for enhanced situational awareness, this remotely-piloted aircraft is one of the few in its class that can operate in civilian aviation traffic.

According to RNLAF officials, these flights were also a great opportunity for the Dutch air traffic controllers to become familiar with these remotely piloted aircraft types, which was a premiere.

The Seaguardian was designed for maritime surveillance missions, ranging from anti-submarine warfare to search and rescue. After these demonstrations are concluded, the MQ-9B will perform joint missions together with other air, surface, and land platforms during the upcoming Joint Warrior exercise.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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