This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

GA-ASI MQ-9 Guardian UAV conducts maritime surveillance flights in Japan

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. is currently demonstrating its MQ-9 Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Japan. The demonstration flights, which started a week ago on Iki island, intend to promote the civil and scientific applications of the RPA. For this demonstration, the Guardian features long-range maritime surface-search radar with stabilized optical and infrared video cameras which is particularly adapted for maritime surveillance missions.


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. is currently demonstrating its MQ-9 Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Japan. The demonstration flights, which started a week ago on Iki island, intend to promote the civil and scientific applications of the RPA. For this demonstration, the Guardian features long-range maritime surface-search radar with stabilized optical and infrared video cameras which is particularly adapted for maritime surveillance missions.


GA ASI MQ 9 Guardian UAV conducts maritime surveillance flights in Japan The MQ-9 Guardian RPA on Iki island, Japan, for the demonstration flights. GA-ASI picture.


The Guardian is collecting data for scientific research that will be shared across multiple government agencies, while operating from the island of Iki, in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture.

This is the first demonstration of a long endurance RPA by a private company in Japan. The aircraft’s sensors include a long-range maritime surface-search radar, stabilized optical and infrared video cameras, and an active collision-avoidance system, which includes a short range air-to-air radar. This configuration is similar to that operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland security over the maritime approaches to the U.S.

For demonstration purposes, the Guardian flights will consist of approximately 10 five-hour sorties over a three week period, originating out of Iki Airport; however, this aircraft configuration is capable of more than 20 hours endurance in a single sortie. The Guardian system will demonstrate various missions, including:

Meteorological, disaster-relief and oceanic observations
Marine accidents and rescue support
Air space management and support of communications