Common Atomics Aeronautical Programs, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew the brand new NATO Pod for the primary time on Nov. 23, 2022. The NATO Pod is a joint improvement between GA-ASI and Sener Aeroespacial of Spain. The NATO Pod is constructed by Sener Aeroespacial in Europe to satisfy NATO airworthiness requirements, whereas rising configuration and payload choices for MQ-9A and MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Plane produced by GA-ASI. The brand new product is designed for worldwide clients which might be focused on quickly integrating sovereign payload capabilities to realize particular mission aims. The check flight was carried out on the Yuma Proving Grounds utilizing a GA-ASI owned MQ-9A plane. NATO Pod improvement was pushed by GA-ASI’s need to offer clients with a customizable, multi-use pod for carriage of sovereign, cross-domain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors for MQ-9A and MQ-9B RPA programs. GA-ASI is working with Sener and different European suppliers to combine their sensor capabilities inside this new pod. The NATO Pod is a versatile, scalable, certifiable enclosure with the structural options to host wide-ranging mission programs. The pod meets DEF STAN and STANAG certification requirements for airworthiness, together with lightning safety and chicken impression.

Rafael Orbe, Defence Common Director at Sener Aeroespacial, mentioned: “This primary flight is the fruit of an extended collaboration between GA-ASI and Sener and we’re proud to have contributed to the success of the mission. We stay up for persevering with the great work collectively, which we’re positive will deliver us extra successes sooner or later.”


“This can be a actually momentous product design and implementation effort,” mentioned GA-ASI Vice President of Mission Payloads and Exploitation, Satish Krishnan. “We’ve labored intently with Sener to satisfy necessities and maintain our mixed groups in sync to realize this nice final result. Our profitable check flight permits us to start advertising this new functionality to our worldwide associate nations as a technique to quickly add sovereign payload functionality.”

The NATO Pod interfaces with frequent MQ-9 plane energy and navigation interfaces, together with the platform datalink connection to the Floor Management Station (GCS). Buyer system integration relies on utilizing a typical set of interfaces to the plane and GCS programs. This industrial cooperation effort introduces European manufacturing of GA-ASI designed mission {hardware} and opens the door to customer-specified mission payloads – together with applied sciences which might be constructed exterior the U.S. – for deployment on MQ-9A and MQ-9B. The NATO Pod that was examined featured a payload constructed by Arpège S.A.S. France. MQ-9As are operated by a lot of European international locations, together with the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. GA-ASI’s newer MQ-9B variant has been acquired by the UK and Belgium. Not too long ago Poland introduced that it’ll lease MQ-9A.

Sener Aeroespacial has been a number one provider of high-performance aerospace programs for House, Protection and Science for greater than 50 years, growing its personal excessive added-value know-how merchandise. Sener Aeroespacial is a frontrunner in steerage, navigation and management programs, actuation and orientation programs, and communications, COMINT, optics, ATC and avionics programs. It’s concerned in the principle packages of the ESA and NASA area businesses. Sener Aeroespacial is a part of the SATNUS consortium, which leads the Spanish contingent of Distant Operators of the FCAS program. Sener Aeroespacial can be a part of the lately created SMS consortium. Sener Aeroespacial has manufacturing facilities in Catalonia, the Group of Madrid and the Basque Nation. It’s a firm of the Sener engineering and know-how group, based in 1956, which employs 2,700 professionals on 4 continents.

Common Atomics-Aeronautical Programs, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of Common Atomics, is a number one designer and producer of confirmed, dependable remotely piloted plane (RPA) programs, radars, and electro-optic and associated mission programs, together with the Predator® RPA sequence and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With greater than seven million flight hours, GA-ASI gives long-endurance, mission-capable plane with built-in sensor and information hyperlink programs required to ship persistent flight that allows situational consciousness and fast strike. The corporate additionally produces quite a lot of floor management stations and sensor management/picture evaluation software program, gives pilot coaching and help companies, and develops meta-material antennas.