GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace automate, ramp up production of Predator B UAS landing gear systems

POWAY, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA‑ASI) in Poway, California, and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business in the Netherlands have opened a highly automated production line focused on landing gear systems for Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, in Helmond, the Netherlands. “We are committed to substantial European industrial involvement on our aircraft systems,” says GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. “Fokker’s production of the Predator B landing gear system is just one of the major areas of collaboration with European industry.”

Apr 27th, 2017
GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace automate, ramp up production of Predator B UAS landing gear systems
GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace automate, ramp up production of Predator B UAS landing gear systems

POWAY, Calif.General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA‑ASI), a manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions in Poway, California, and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, a provider of landing gear technologies in the Netherlands, have opened a highly automated production line focused on landing gear systems for Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, in Helmond, the Netherlands.

“We are committed to substantial European industrial involvement on our aircraft systems,” says GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. “Fokker’s production of the Predator B landing gear system is just one of the major areas of collaboration with European industry.”

GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, the company’s Dutch in-country partner, have been working together for years to bring Predator aircraft to the Dutch Armed Forces. Predator B exceeds the Dutch Air Forces’ requirements for persistent remotely piloted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems. An experienced Program Team will manage the execution of the landing gear production supported by highly automated processes, officials say.

GA-ASI and Fokker are also exploring the possibilities to collaborate in the application of advanced composites in the Predator B landing gear to reduce weight and improve production lead times. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is a technology leader in the design and development of composite components for landing gear.

"We are proud to manufacture the landing gear of the innovative Predator B system for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems,” says Michiel van der Maat, vice president of Fokker Technologies, our teams have been working closely together to achieve this great milestone.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems business unit is the designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger, and Predator XP. It also manufactures a variety of state-of-the-art digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Mission Systems business unit designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx Multi-mode Radar and Claw sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also focuses on providing integrated sensor payloads and software for ISR aircraft platforms and develops high energy lasers, electro-optic sensors, and meta-material antennas.

GKN plc is a global engineering group with three divisions: GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline and GKN Powder Metallurgy, which operate in the aerospace and automotive markets. Over 58,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries.

GKN Aerospace is a multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components, and technologies for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, engine systems, and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies, and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 55 manufacturing locations employing approximately 17,500 people.

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