American company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems assembled the first production version of the certified shock unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9B SkyGuardian, and began its flight tests. According to the message , the first flight of the UAV was held on 30 March 2020 at the enterprises airfield at El Mirage in California and was declared fully successful.
Medium-altitude UAV MQ-9B is developed from the first half of 2010-ies on the basis of the impact apparatus of the MQ-9 Reaper. The developers intend to make a new drone certified. This means that he will be able to check the aviation authorities of the USA and some European countries will be allowed to fly in General with a manned spacecraft airspace.
The MQ-9B can fly at speeds up to 210 knots (388 kilometers per hour) and at altitudes of up to 14 thousand meters. SkyGuardian is able to stay aloft for up to 35 hours. The device is equipped with a modular weapon control system open architecture — buyers will be able to launch a rocket of its own design.
In contrast to the basic version of the MQ-9 Reaper drone SkyGuradian equipped de-icing system and system to prevent midair collisions of aircraft standard TCAS. In addition, the device is equipped with advanced automatic takeoff and landing and reconnaissance optical-electronic and infrared video system high-definition.
The serial apparatus of the MQ-9B, which began flight tests, has received factory index BC03. This drone will undergo testing under the certification program, the results of which he will have to obtain the type certificate.
General Atomics will then collect the drone with the factory index BC04 designed for the RAF. This device will be slightly different from BC03 structure of the equipment. British military expect to get 20 of the apparatus of the MQ-9B, which in the British air force was designated the Protector. The first such device will be handed over to the military in 2023.