On October 19, 2022, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) commenced flight operations using an MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI). JCG is operating the SeaGuardian from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Air Station Hachinohe. The RPA will primarily perform Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Other missions will include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement.

“SeaGuardian is the world’s premier asset for performing MWAS,” said Robert Schoeffling, vice president of International Strategic Development at GA-ASI. “We’re proud to support the Government of Japan’s policy to strengthen its maritime security.”

SeaGuardian features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with an Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and a High-Definition – Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. This sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles and provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar tracks.

GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian are revolutionizing the long-endurance RPAS market by providing all-weather capability and full compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO UAS airworthiness standard). This feature, along with our operationally proven, collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil airspace.

SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian have garnered significant interest from customers throughout the world. The UK Ministry of Defence selected MQ-9B SkyGuardian for its Protector program, and the Belgian Ministry of Defense signed a contract for SkyGuardian.

By Press