On Nov. 10, 2022, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew the first production MQ-9A Multi-Domain Operations (M2DO)-ready variant of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Reaper. This upgraded version of the MQ-9A Block 5 remotely piloted aircraft, also known as a the “-25,” includes key features that will enable future integration and fielding of Open Mission Systems (OMS) as well as new sensors that will further expand the MQ-9A Reaper’s strategic reconnaissance capabilities.
Features of the new “-25” include improved power distribution and redundancy, GPS improvements, radar altimeters, nose wheel steering, and angle of attack (AoA) sensor system improvements.
The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps will both receive these improved MQ-9A Block 5 “-25” M2DO-ready aircraft under current contracts; however, the total number of aircraft receiving these improvements has not been released.
“We’re excited to position the MQ-9A enterprise for new missions through these capabilities,” said GA-ASI Vice President of USAF Programs Claudia Mowery. “Future funding could potentially expand these capabilities to the entire MQ-9A fleet.”