The Pentagon today announced a $217.6 million contract to General Atomics for the production of MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones for Taiwan.
This contract provides for four MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles, two Certifiable Ground Control Stations, spares and support equipment.
Work will be performed in Poway, and is expected to be completed May 5, 2025.
In September 2022, a Facebook post by Taiwanese a Taiwanese legislator said that a deal had been signed for the four UAVs.
Taipei’s move to obtain the UAVs followed a U.S. government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case announced in November 2020, which listed the total value of the four UAVs and related support and spares at $600 million. It detailed the UAV’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) payload, specifying the L3 Wescam MX-20 multi-spectral targeting system, Raytheon’s SeaVue maritime multi-role patrol radar and Leonardo’s Sage 750 electronic surveillance measures system.
Communication equipment requested included C-band line-of-sight ground data terminals, Ku-band satellite communication transportable earth stations, BAE Systems identification friend or foe DPX-7 transponders, M6000 UHF/VHF radios, Raytheon KIV-77 Mode 5 identification friend or foe cryptographic appliques, and PYQ-10C simple key loaders.