> our title:

GA, R&S Team for Reaper Voice Communications

> original title:

GA-ASI and Rohde & Schwartz Team to Develop Voice Communications Certification for Predator B

(Source: General Atomics Aeronautical; issued May 21, 2014)


ILA BERLIN AIR SHOW --- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Rohde & Schwarz today announced that they have signed a Teaming Agreement to integrate and flight demonstrate Rohde & Schwarz's air traffic control radios on the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA.

The agreement supports both companies' efforts to add additional German and European content into Predator-series aircraft. At the same time, the integration of the Rohde & Schwarz radios also supports GA-ASI's effort to deliver a "Certifiable" Predator B RPA. GA-ASI is forecasting to deliver aircraft that are fully compliant with the airworthiness certification requirements of NATO customers, including STANAG 4671. Â

"We are continuing to integrate German and European payloads and communications systems into our aircraft while ensuring compliance with airworthiness standards," said Linden P. Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. "Rohde and Schwarz's expertise in the design, development, and production of radio communications systems that carry airworthiness certifications will bring us one step closer to achieving this goal."

"Our products provide users with a high degree of security and reliability in airborne radio communications," stated Scott Bausback, CEO, Rohde & Schwarz USA, Inc. "Together with General Atomics Aeronautical, we will develop both companies' capabilities regarding their technical state-of-the-art portfolios."

In the final design configuration, two radio systems will be placed in the aircraft, along with potentially another two radios in the Ground Control System (GCS). The R&S MR6000A from the successful Rohde & Schwarz VHF/UHF R&S M3AR airborne transceiver family is the first radio of its kind in the world that meets civil aviation certification requirements and ensures compatibility with military and civilian avionics specifications.

The first flight test of Predator B with a single R&S MR6000A radio system is scheduled for later this year at GA-ASI's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. The test will encompass verification of control and frequency management using the Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) communications path. In addition, GA-ASI foresees an adjunct demonstration of a radio relay and communication to dismounted soldiers should flight resources allow.

GA-ASI's Certifiable Predator B is envisioned to be a multi-nation, certifiable, exportable configuration built upon the company's Block 5 Predator B aircraft capabilities and Advance Cockpit GCS layout. In April 2013, the company expanded its relationship with its German partner, RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, to allow for increased collaboration in establishing compliance with NATO airworthiness standards. Similarly, the radio certification effort with Rohde & Schwarz will be leveraged to market the aircraft jointly to U.S. and European government entities.


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Aircraft Systems business unit is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable, RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger, and Predator XP.


The Rohde & Schwarz electronics group is a leading supplier of solutions in the fields of test and measurement, broadcasting, secure communications, and radiomonitoring and radiolocation. Founded 80 years ago, this independent global company has an extensive sales network and is present in more than 70 countries. It has around 9300 employees and achieved a net revenue of EUR 1.9 billion (USD 2.5 billion) in fiscal year 2012/2013 (July 2012 through June 2013). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

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