Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2021-01-03

Spain Receives GA-ASI’s Final MQ-9A Block 5 RPA

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently delivered the final two MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and a Ground Control Station (GCS) to the Spanish Air Force (SpAF), completing a Foreign Military Sales acquisition of four aircraft and three GCSs. The new MQ-9s will be operated by the 233rd Squadron at Talavera la Real Air Base near Badajoz, Spain.
 
The final delivery was preceded by acceptance test procedures (ATP) completed at GA-ASI's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California on September 29, 2020.
 
The successful ATPs, in conjunction with the integration of System 1 by the SpAF in Badajoz, resulted in Spain’s issuance of an Airworthiness Military Type Certificate for the aircraft, which is the first time this has been done for the MQ-9A Block 5. This measure certifies that the entire system, including the maintenance, is safe for personnel in the air and on the ground. It is also a key hurdle to clear to operate in national airspace.
 
Spain’s programme represents the first MQ-9A Block 5 acquisition by an international partner. Other milestones for the programme have included the SpAF taking initial delivery of its MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft at the end of 2019 and launching its first flight in January 2020.
 

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