General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), has announced the company’ selection to support the Japan Coast Guard’s (JCG) RPAS project. Operations will feature GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian and begin in October 2022. SeaGuardian will be used to conduct wide-area maritime surveillance to support JCG’s missions, which include:

  • search and rescue
  • disaster response
  • maritime law enforcement

This project follows a series of successful JCG flight trials in 2020 that used SeaGuardian to validate the same JCG missions in accordance with Japan’s “Policy on Strengthening the Maritime Security Systems,” using UAVs to perform maritime wide-area surveillance.

SeaGuardian features:

  • a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging mode
  • an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver
  • High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.

This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.