General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the world’s leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), opened a new customer service center in Dresden, Germany on October 5, 2020. The center provides sustainment capabilities for MQ-9 fleets in and near Europe, providing customer convenience and expanding opportunities for European aerospace suppliers.
The service center is a key part of General Atomics’ European Regional Sustainment Network (ERSN). The ERSN leverages the European supply base and creates new repair capabilities that will reduce repair “turn-around-time” and the cost of MQ-9 support.
“Our sustainment services are flexible and reliable,” said Linden P. Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “With ERSN, we’ll deliver better support while creating jobs through industry partners. We’re listening to our customers and acting on their desire to establish sustainment capability in Europe.”
“ERSN not only improves supply chain efficiency, but also enhances European sovereignty and security of supply,” said Rudolf Meinhardt, managing director of GA Europe.
As of October 16, GA-ASI customers will have batteries repaired regionally by MADES, located in Malaga, Spain. “MADES is very proud to become the first MQ-9 component repair center outside of the United States,” said Jean Franco Montalvan, MADES Managing Director. “MADES has demonstrated the level of capability and performance that a company like GA-ASI requires from an international partner. It opens up new avenues of collaboration between the two companies that we trust will materialize in the coming years.”
In addition, Belgium’s SABCA was selected to provide depot maintenance services for electromechanical actuators used on MQ-9.
ERSN embodies GA’s goal of pursuing industry partnerships with European companies, which has continued for more than a decade. GA-ASI engages with industry across Europe on projects for manufacturing, operations and maintenance, research and development, engineering services, and payload development. The new MQ-9B SkyGuardian® RPAS incorporates components and technologies from partners across Europe. Major subsystems produced in Europe include: GKN Aerospace’s diagonal stabilizers produced in the United Kingdom and landing gear from The Netherlands; SATCOM-radomes from SABCA in Belgium; payload enclosure systems (such as the NATO Pod) from SENER Aeroespacial in Spain; radar and Electronic Surveillance Measure (ESM) systems from Leonardo in the UK; Aircraft Survivability and Electronic Warfare management systems from TERMA in Denmark; and sonobuoy dispenser systems from AEREA in Italy.
AEREA, located in Turate-Como Italy, is a privately owned aerospace company, which is specialized in design, manufacturing and MRO&U of advanced store carriage and release equipment for major aerospace international defence programs.
About GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 48 manufacturing locations employing approximately 17,000 people.
Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security. The company has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2019 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €13.8 billion and invested €1.5 billion in Research and Development. The Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) since 2010 and became Industry leader of Aerospace & Defence sector of DJSI in 2019.
MADES, located in Malaga, Spain, is a former subsidiary of Hughes Aircraft & Raytheon Company. MADES has been manufacturing electronics for a range of international weapon systems and platforms since 1990. In addition to providing mission critical built-to-print electronic systems for the defense sector in Europe and North America, MADES brings its high-reliability manufacturing expertise to various complex applications in aerospace, industrial, automotive and medical markets. The services offered include Industrialization, Electronics Manufacturing, Functional Test Development, Systems Integration, and Lifecycle Support.
SABCA is a part of Blueberry, a unique industrial ecosystem in the Belgian aerospace industry. Through its subsidiaries, Blueberry is active in the design, development and manufacture of aviation and aerospace equipment, offers maintenance services for aircraft and brings solutions to drive the sustainable development of the industry as a whole. Today, SABCA benefits from a large palette of expertise, built over its 100 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, maintaining, and upgrading large and complex elements for aircraft and space launchers. In doing so, the group addresses its customer’s business needs from end-to-end.
About General Atomics Europe
General Atomics Europe GmbH (GA Europe) is a medium-sized diversified technology group, headquartered in Dresden, Germany, and an affiliate of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for more than 28 years. GA Europe supports GA-ASI’s expansion in Europe since 2013 with logistic support, engineering, and marketing services.