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General Atomics MQ-9B SkyGuardian Completes Cold Weather Validation

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has completed a cold weather validation test for its MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft system.

The demonstration assessed the drone’s capability to operate in extreme weather scenarios.

The trial expanded the aircraft’s operability in environments to support its introduction for Nordic defense and security customers.

During the validation, the MQ-9B was put in a “cold soak” state, keeping the aircraft below -21 degrees Celsius (-5 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12 hours.

In this condition, the drone underwent de-icing for ground and flight maneuvers.

A second test transitioned the MQ-9B from a climate-controlled hangar to basic cold conditions for engine start and system check procedures.

MQ-9B SkyGuardian for Nordic Countries

According to GA-ASI, the MQ-9B performed consistently throughout all conditions.
The MQ-9B SkyGuardian. Photo: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

The drone maintained responsiveness and high readiness after standard de-icing and anti-icing.

“Among the many transformative features of our MQ-9B line of [remotely piloted aircraft] is the aircraft’s ability to perform in extreme temperatures,” GA-ASI President David Alexander stated.

“We welcome the cold weather operational capability requirements from Nordic countries, as the MQ-9B is built for all-weather global missions, and we’re thrilled to have MQ-9B perform so impressively under these demanding cold conditions.” 

“The [cold weather validation], coupled with our recent Low Earth Orbit (LEO) SATCOM flight tests, demonstrate how our aircraft can successfully perform missions in the Arctic region, which is becoming a clear security priority for NORAD and NATO.”

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