SAN DIEGO. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) held a ground breaking ceremony today for a new hangar being built in El Mirage, Calif. The new facility in the high desert of southern California will be close to 150,000 square feet and be used to house and test GA-ASI’s latest Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) variant, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian.
The ground breaking event for GA-ASI’s “El Mirage Hangar 80” features speakers from the company, as well as local dignitaries, including 1st District Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood.
“Any time we break ground on a new facility is an exciting day for our company,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “The new MQ-9B represents the latest in RPA innovation, and with increasing interest in this aircraft throughout the world, it’s time to get this hangar constructed.”
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is acquiring SkyGuardian as part of its Protector RG Mk1 program and is scheduled for first delivery in the early 2020s. Belgium chose SkyGuardian for its defense needs and it is also being considered by the Australian Defence Force, who selected GA-ASI to supply a RPA system for Project Air 7003.
GA-ASI expects 125 employees to be based at the new hangar, including 30-45 new hires. In addition to housing the newly manufactured SkyGuardian, the hangar will feature Ground Support Equipment and Shipping & Receiving areas.
GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of RPA, tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems.