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Avalon 2019: Team REAPER Takes Shape

AIR 7003 Decision Due in 2019

First unveiled at Avalon 2017, the Team REAPER venture to support, develop and manufacture remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS – otherwise unmanned aerial systems – UAS) has not grown from four to ten companies, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) revealed at Avalon 2019 in Geelong, VIC, on 26 February.

In late 2018, the Australian government named GA-ASI as the supplier for the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) armed RPAS requirement, with the specific variant – the MQ-9A or the advanced MQ-9B – to be selected during the course of this year.

We’ve brought together a world-class group of companies that make up Team REAPER Australia, and the team continues to grow,” commented GA-ASI CEO, Linden Blue. “Following the Australian government’s selection of GA-ASI to provide the armed RPAS, Team REAPER Australia activity has increased significantly and all team members [are] committed to supporting ADF requirements.”

While the specific support requirements are still being defined by the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and GA-ASI, Team REAPER Australia is currently geared towards the following services and capabilities:

Cobham Aviation Services Australia (lead partner; more on this here) – maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), logistics;

CAE Australia – RPAS training devices, training services, support material and courseware;

Airspeed – sovereign payload pods and in-country composite repairs;

Flight Data Systems – aviation services and products, including environmental testing of line-replaceable units, flight data acquisition, monitoring and analysis;

Raytheon Australia – electro-optical/infrared image systems, integration of payloads and weapons;

Collins Aerospace – Fast Attack (FasTAK) Network Joint Fires on Rosetta Data Link Processor Gateway for Digital Joint Fires;

Quickstep Technologies – composite component manufacturing;

Sentient Vision Systems – autonomous detection systems, including all environmental ViDAR Wide Area Motion Imagery;

TAE Aerospace – Honeywell TPE331 engine MRO and other powerplant-related component manufacturing;

Ultra Electronics Australia – electronic warfare (EW) payloads.

With the selection of GA-ASI to supply the ADF RPAS, Australia joins other top-tier military forces in choosing an MQ-9 variant because of its proven, multi-role combat performance and networking/interoperability effects. Known as ‘the warfighters’ choice,’ the MQ-9 is part of GA-ASI’s PREDATOR series of RPAS, the world’s most trusted and capable armed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) RPAS, and hails from an RPAS family that recently surpassed five million flight hours.

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Publish date

02/26/2019

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