General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a global manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, has announced the expansion of its Team Reaper Australia. The team offers the only viable solution to meet the Project AIR 7003 requirement and now consists of nine Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing, and life-cycle support capabilities.
Project AIR 7003 will provide an armed, Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) RPA system that will be fully-interoperable with Australia’s allies. Team Reaper Australia assembles a strong partnership between Australian companies and GA-ASI to meet the requirements of Project AIR 7003, while also creating enduring jobs for Australians.
“General Atomics recognises the importance of having a robust team of Australian industry partners to support the AIR 7003 requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “We are strongly committed to partnerships with Australian industry and to providing a capable, affordable RPA system to the Australian Defence Force.”
“TAE Aerospace is looking forward to working with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and the other members of Team Reaper Australia to support the AIR 7003 requirement,” said Darren Hutchinson, chief strategy officer of TAE Aerospace. “As Australia’s largest gas turbine engine MRO provider, we believe this project will provide substantial benefit to Australia’s local industry and showcase our innovative through-life support capabilities to the world.”
“Rockwell Collins has a proven history of providing innovative mission system solutions that meet the specific needs of the Australian Defence Force,” said Nicholas Gibbs, managing director, Rockwell Collins Australia. “Joining Team Reaper Australia will solidify the work we’ve been doing with General Atomics to set the standards for UAS to access civil airspace.”
“We look forward to supporting Team Reaper by supplying the UAS with special-purpose sensors that are designed and manufactured in Australia,” said Ultra Electronics marketing director, Peter Weir.
Steve Barlow, managing director of Airspeed, agreed, “We are thrilled to be part of Team Reaper Australia, offering our reconfigurable and proven airborne equipment pod to house payloads on Reaper.”
“As Australia’s largest independent, aerospace-grade, advanced composites manufacturer, we look forward to being part of General Atomics’ Team Reaper Australia solution for Project AIR 7003’s requirement for Remotely Piloted Aircraft,” said Mark Burgess, CEO and managing director of Quickstep Holdings Limited. “This project fits well with our strategic direction, manufacturing capabilities, and capacity availability, and adds to Australia’s further development of sovereign capability.”
Peter Nottage, CEO of Cobham Aviation Services, added, “The expansion of our Australian team further strengthens our robust portfolio of experience delivering innovative and technologically-advanced, turn-key solutions to support Australian government and defence operations.”
Team Reaper Australia, originally consisting of Cobham, CAE Australia, Raytheon, and Flight Data Systems, was first announced at the Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition (AVALON 2017) by Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI, and Air chief marshal Sir Angus Houston, AK, DFC of Defence South Australia. Since AVALON 2017, Team Reaper Australia has expanded to nine companies to include: Cobham Australia, CAE Australia, Raytheon Australia, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Ultra Electronics Australia, Airspeed, and Quickstep Holdings Ltd.
Project AIR 7003 will provide the Australian Defence Force with a MALE RPA system that will include aircraft and Ground Control Stations (GCS). These elements were displayed during the AVALON Air Show in Geelong earlier this year.