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Wed, Nov 02, 2022

General Atomics Inks $70.6 Million with Polish MOD

Poland Continues Shopping 2022 Spree with Purchase of Classic Reaper UAV 

Poland’s defense spending bonanza continued this month, with a deal between General Atomics and the Ministry of Defence for the lease of an undisclosed number of MQ-9A Reaper aircraft. 

The deal is worth $70.6 million, though specifics on the exact number of aircraft remain nebulous. Mariusz Blaszczak, Polish defense minister, said the leased aircraft were an interim fix for their UAS ISR needs. His tweet showed a Reaper bearing some small PAF markings after the deal was made. 

In recent years, the Polish Ministry of Defense has made a point of developing its uncrewed aircraft capabilities, originally planning on the acquisition of at least 4 different UAS types by 2022. Events in Ukraine appear to have lit a fire underneath the country, undoubtedly loosening some stubborn purse strings and export frictions to allow for faster sale and acquisition than ever before. The Reaper may not be alone in Polish hangars for too long, with 24 Turkish Bayraktar TB2s on track for delivery later this year. Poland’s Zefir program will continue to bolster the country’s uncrewed aircraft systems, with expectations of Elbit’s Hermes 900 as the next aircraft to join the fold. 

The MQ-9A selected represents a balanced, middle-of-the-road approach to multi mission systems capability, lacking some of the more specialized equipment of the MQ-9B Sky or SeaGuardian. The MQ-9A Reaper, derived from the Predator RPA, will provide more than 27 hours of endurance, a 240-knot top speed, and 50,000 ft ceiling to benefit its 3,850 lb payload. The long-endurance, persistent intelligence gathering asset provides continuous full-motion video, Synthetic Aperture Radar, a reliable Honeywell TPE331 turboprop power plant, and redundant avionics to provide consistent performance throughout its service life. 

“GA-ASI’s support for Poland and the NATO alliance is steadfast as they confront the ongoing war in the region,” said GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. “We look forward to delivering our proven MQ-9A platform system to Poland to enhance the nation’s ability to conduct persistent airborne ISR and support its Defense Forces.”

FMI: www.ga-asi.com

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