General Atomics has launched flight tests of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian series impact drone. The first flight of the device is recognized as completely successful, the company said.

The MQ-9B SkyGuardian military drone belongs to the mid-altitude class and is developed on the basis of the MQ-9 Reaper, which has been in service with the US Air Force since 2007,

SkyGuardian is able to stay in the air for up to 35 hours, but so far it flies rather slowly – the cruising speed of the drone at an altitude of 7.5 thousand meters is 388 km/h. For comparison, the standard speed of the Boeing 747 is 870 km/h.

The drone is also equipped with an anti-icing system and an air collision avoidance system, as well as an improved infrared camera.

Flight tests are conducted with the participation of the first serial MQ-9B SkyGuardian with code number BC03. The first drone flight took place on March 30, 2020 at the aerodrome of the enterprise in El Mirage in California – the company’s engineers recognized it as completely successful.