General Atomics has signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates' International Golden Group (IGG) to potentially supply Predator unmanned air vehicles to the country.
US government restrictions mean that all sales of General Atomics UAVs such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are restricted to NATO nations and other select allies. The company, however, offers an export version dubbed the Predator XP.
IGG works with foreign defence contractors as a supplier for the UAE's armed forces. Its "proven expertise in providing comprehensive defence equipment solutions to the UAE marketplace is a strong complement to [General Atomics'] leadership in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] technologies," says the US manufacturer.
General Atomics chief executive Neal Blue says the "establishment of a working relationship with IGG represents a strategic commitment by both companies to help the UAE strengthen its national security and protect critical infrastructure".
The Predator XP has ISR capabilities "comparable" with the original Predator and is licensed by Washington for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The XP has the same physical dimensions, altitude, speed and endurance as the US Air Force's original RQ-1 Predator. The UAV is available with multiple exportable sensors, including electro-optical/infrared payloads and General Atomics' own Lynx multi-mode radar.