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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) opened a new customer service centre in Dresden, Germany on 5 October 2020. The centre provides sustainment capabilities for MQ-9 fleets in and near Europe, providing customer convenience and expanding opportunities for European aerospace suppliers.

The service centre is a key part of General Atomics’ European Regional Sustainment Network (ERSN). The ERSN leverages the European supply base and creates new repair capabilities that will reduce repair “turn-around-time” and the cost of MQ-9 support.

As of 16 October, GA-ASI customers will have batteries repaired regionally by MADES, located in Malaga, Spain while Belgium’s SABCA was selected to provide depot maintenance services for electromechanical actuators used on MQ-9.

ERSN embodies GA’s goal of pursuing industry partnerships with European companies, which has continued for more than a decade. GA-ASI engages with industry across Europe on projects for manufacturing, operations and maintenance, research and development, engineering services, and payload development. The new MQ-9B SkyGuardian® Remotely Piloted Air System incorporates components and technologies from partners across Europe. Major subsystems produced in Europe include:

  • GKN Aerospace’s diagonal stabilisers produced in the United Kingdom and landing gear from The Netherlands
  • SATCOM-radomes from SABCA in Belgium
  • payload enclosure systems (such as the NATO Pod) from SENER Aeroespacial in Spain
  • radar and Electronic Surveillance Measure (ESM) systems from Leonardo in the UK
  • Aircraft Survivability and Electronic Warfare management systems from TERMA in Denmark
  • sonobuoy dispenser systems from AEREA in Italy

Jack Richardson