General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) integrated Leonardo’s AESA Seaspray 7500E V2 multimode radar into an MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft, which conducted its first test flight on April 14, 2021.

As reported in the company’s press release, this radar, designed primarily to perform maritime missions, is also being installed on the MQ-9B SeaGuardian RPA, GA-ASI’s newest long-range naval drone.

“The benefits of this Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR) in the complex littoral and maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) environment will add world-class situational awareness for our RPA,” said GA-ASI Vice President of International Strategic Development Robert Schoeffling.

Designed and manufactured in Edinburgh (Scotland), the Leonardo 7500E V2 radar is the latest variant of the highly successful Seaspray Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar family, featuring updated processor and receiver technology to meet the evolving demands of the ISR mission set.

The 7500E V2 is the largest and most capable Seaspray AESA radar and enhances the operationally proven 7500E.

The Seaspray greatly enhances the capabilities of GA-ASI MQ-9 family of RPAs and builds on the already close working partnership between GA-ASI and Leonardo.

GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian. Image: courtesy of GA-ASI.

Tony Innes, VP Sales, Radar and Advanced Targeting at Leonardo said, “GA-ASI are an important partner and I’m delighted to see our joint projects generating interest in the market. Seaspray’s long-range, wide-area maritime and ground surveillance capability makes it an ideal fit for the MQ-9A and MQ-9B. The V2 offers significant range increases for certain critical modes, improved maritime detection and the ability to handle a high number of targets, while improving on its already-capable over-land mode suite.”

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