General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, electro-optic and related mission systems, announced that four more Belgium-based businesses have been selected to join five previously identified companies to support the development of MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA for Belgium. AeroSimulators Group (ASG), AIRobot, ALX Systems and Hexagon will join Team SkyGuardian, which already includes the following five Belgium companies: SABCA, Thales Belgium, Esterline, Newtec and DronePort.
“The addition of these four companies to Team SkyGuardian will further enhance the capabilities of SkyGuardian and build on our already strong business partnerships in Belgium,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “GA-ASI looks forward to working with our Belgian teammates to make the MQ-9B procurement a success.”
In order to identify small to medium-sized Belgian companies that could support SkyGuardian development, GA-ASI held an outreach event called Blue Magic Belgium (BMB) on May 15th and 16th. This search for cutting-edge capabilities from local companies followed the Government of Belgium’s approval for Belgian Defense to negotiate acquisition of GA-ASI’s SkyGuardian to meet the nation’s RPA requirements.
As a result of the BMB event, GA-ASI has requested proposals from BMB winners AIRobot, ALX Systems and Hexagon. A fourth company, ASG, was also identified during the course of the BMB event. Based in Belsele, Belgium, ASG specializes in the delivery of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) training. The company is active in the air, land and maritime domains and provides training and simulators for a wide range of sensors.
AIRobot – a company based at DronePort in Sint Truiden, Belgium – focuses on developing drone performance equipment for easy, precise and safe professional operations. AIRobot will develop automated materials detection using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Hyper-Spectral Imagery (HSI).
ALX Systems is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) solution provider based in Liège, Belgium specializing in autonomous UAV systems. They will work with GA-ASI to increase performance of object detection using AI and synthetic Full Motion Video (FMV). Hexagon’s Geospatial division, with an office in Leuven, Belgium, specializes in software solutions and geospatial tools for visualizing location information, such as auto-routing UAS and creating a smart digital reality.