General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has selected two Belgian companies, ALX Systems and Coexpair, to support the development of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and other advanced RPA-related projects.
The companies were selected from a field of 18 companies that presented their ideas and capabilities to a panel of GA-ASI technical experts during Blue Magic Belgium 2021. BMB21, held Sept. 15-16, 2021, at the headquarters of GA-ASI’s Belgian partner DronePort in Sint-Truiden, provided an opportunity for Belgium-based businesses to present their capabilities and products to GA-ASI with the goal of expanding GA-ASI’s business-to-business cooperation with Belgian industry. The Belgian Ministry of Defense announced in 2020 that it will acquire the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, with first delivery expected next year.
“We were impressed by the many talented companies that participated in Blue Magic Belgium,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Engineering Dee Wilson, who led the GA-ASI panel. “We look forward to working with ALX Systems and Coexpair. Both companies bring unique products and capabilities that are important to our ongoing and future RPA development activities.”
ALX Systems develops unmanned aircraft solutions, including a cloud-enabled operating system that enables UAS to fly autonomously.
“ALX is happy to be selected again and looks forward to working with GA-ASI to develop a mission manager software application that will generate mission plans for autonomous operations,” said ALX Systems’ founder and CEO Geoffrey Mormal.
Coexpair specializes in out-of-autoclave Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) processing of composite parts. It offers material selection and prototyping services to develop this process for customer-specific needs. Coexpair will work with GA-ASI to develop an innovative RTM process for core stiffened composite sandwich structures.
“Our project with GA-ASI will tackle the challenge of resin intrusion into sandwich core during RTM processing,” said André Bertin, CEO of Coexpair.
ALX Systems and Coexpair are part of a growing list of Belgium-based businesses working with GA-ASI. Other companies include AeroSimulators Group, AIRobot, Hexagon’s Geospatial division and ScioTeq, SABCA, Thales Belgium, ST Engineering and DronePort.