General Atomics gets $50M support contract for Royal Air Force MQ-9 Reapers

General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, was awarded a $42,555,776 option (P00014) to previously awarded contract FA8620-19-C-2003 for MQ-9 Reaper contractor logistics support.

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General Atomics gets 50M support contract for Royal Air Force MQ 9 Reapers A Royal Air Force's MQ-9A equipped with Hellfire missiles (Picture source: RAF)

The contractor will provide an additional period of support for the United Kingdom Royal Air Force. Work will be performed in Poway, California, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2022. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Aug. 11, 2021)

The company was also awarded an $8,113,085 option (P00007) to previously awarded contract FA8620-20-C-2016 for MQ-9 Reaper support equipment and spare parts.


The MQ-9 Reaper (Reaper MQ-9A) is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) aircraft designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), and attack missions. The aircraft’s persistence and array of surveillance sensors are an essential complement to the RAF’s crewed platforms.

A crew comprising a pilot, sensor operator and mission intelligence co-ordinator flies Reaper from a remote ground control station (GCS). An in-theatre launch and recovery team is responsible for its ground operations. The operational crew controls the aircraft, its sensors and weapons system via an advanced, secure satellite communication system, providing over-the-horizon data link capability from bases in the UK and US.

Two cameras in the aircraft’s forward fuselage provide a forward view for the crew on landing and take-off, while a full sensor suite, with targeting, daylight TV and infrared capabilities is turret mounted beneath Reaper’s forward fuselage. An internal synthetic aperture radar completes the MQ-9’s sensor suite.