General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) opened a new customer service centre in Dresden, Germany on 5 October, the company announced on 2 November. The centre provides sustainment capabilities for MQ-9 fleets in and near Europe, offering customer convenience and expanding opportunities for European aerospace suppliers.
Part of the company’s European Regional Sustainment Network (ERSN), which leverages the European supply base and creates new repair capabilities that will reduce repair turn-around-time, the centre will help reduce the cost of MQ-9 support.
“Our sustainment services are flexible and reliable,” commented Linden Blue, GA-ASI CEO. “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,” added Rudolf Meinhardt, Managing Director of GA Europe.
As of 16 October, GA-ASI customers will have batteries repaired regionally by MADES, located in Malaga, Spain – the first MQ-9 component repair centre outside the United States. Jean Franco Montalvan, MADES Managing Director, explained that “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 has been selected to provide depot maintenance services for the electromechanical actuators used on MQ-9.
ERSN embodies GA’s decade-long goal of pursuing industry partnerships with European companies. GA-ASI engages with industry across Europe on projects for manufacturing, operations and maintenance, R&D, engineering services, and payload development. The new MQ-9B SkyGuardian incorporates components and technologies from partners across Europe. Major subsystems produced in Europe include: GKN Aerospace’s diagonal stabilizers (UK) and landing gear (the Netherlands); SATCOM radomes from SABCA (Belgium); payload enclosure systems (such as the NATO Pod) from SENER Aeroespacial (Spain); radar and electronic surveillance measure (ESM) systems from Leonardo (UK); aircraft survivability and EW management systems from TERMA (Denmark); and sonobuoy dispenser systems from AEREA (Italy).