Cobham Aviation Services Australia and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems have announced a five-year extension to their teaming agreement to introduce medium-altitude, long-endurance RPAS into Australia and to create an affiliation covering whole-of-life support arrangements for GA-ASI products.
The arrangement focuses on the provision of support for the MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).
This new teaming agreement was signed by Cobham Aviation Services Australia CEO Ryan Both and GA-ASI president David R. Alexander in Canberra on 30 January to mark the strong and enduring partnership between the two companies.
The MQ-9B SkyGuardian was selected by the Australian Defence Force in November 2019 as the Armed RPAS for Project Air 7003, while the MQ-9B SeaGuardian is a candidate for the Australian Border Force Future Maritime Surveillance Capability program.
“Cobham and GA-ASI have been working in partnership for more than 15 years to promote the introduction of a MALE RPAS capability into Australia. This teaming agreement enables us to apply our specialist capabilities in supporting sophisticated, fit-for-purpose aerial platforms that perform critical national security missions,” Both, the Cobham CEO, said.
“We look forward to continuing our work with GA-ASI, particularly with support to the MQ-9B SkyGuardian,” Both added.
This was reinforced by Alexander, GA-ASI president, who stated, “The combination of Cobham’s strengths as a key aviation services and support provider in Australia with GA-ASI proven experience as the world’s most trusted provider of RPAS provides for a highly cost-effective capability to our Australian customers.”
“As the lead partner for Team Reaper Australia, Cobham will be a key contributor to the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Australian Industry Capability in Australia. We also welcome the relationship with Cobham to offer the MQ-9B SeaGuardian for future Australian Border Force operations in Australia,” Alexander added.
Project AIR 7003 will provide the ADF with an armed medium-altitude, long-endurance RPA system that will include aircraft and ground control stations that will be fully interoperable with Australia’s allies.
The Team Reaper Australia currently consists of 10 Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life cycle support capabilities that includes Cobham, CAE, Raytheon, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, AirSpeed, Rockwell Collins Australia, Ultra and SentientVision.
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Cobham Aviation Services is the largest provider of contract aviation services in Australia. Cobham’s in-house engineering capability supports its fleet and enables it to combine state-of-the-art technology with complex air platforms to deliver customised special mission solutions.
Cobham operates across all states and territories in Australia. Headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, Cobham Aviation Services employs 1,300 people nationally.
GA-ASI, an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of RPA systems, radars and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator RPA series and the Lynx Multi-mode Radar.
With more than 6 million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike.
The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.