The Australian Government’s $1.3 billion program for an armed remotely-piloted aircraft system is a step closer with the down-selection of the General Atomics MQ-9B ‘Sky Guardian’ for the AIR 7003 project.
The next phase will focus on developing the MQ-9B acquisition proposal, which is scheduled for government consideration in 2021-22.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said this project will deliver Australia’s first armed Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.
“Cutting-edge technology of this kind, with advanced sensors and systems, would complement advanced aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” Minister Reynolds said.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP encouraged Australian industry to become involved in this billion-dollar project.
“Local companies that provide a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities will have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities throughout this development process,” Minister Price said.
“Australian defence industries are world-class and are extremely well-placed to be involved in projects like this.”