General Atomics Aeronautical begins flight tests on production-representative MQ-9B UAV

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has announced the first flight of a production-representative MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicle (UAV) at a flight operations facility in El Mirage, California, the company said.

The company said it remains on schedule for delivering MQ-9B Protector to the Royal Air Force.

The company-owned aircraft will undergo ground and flight evaluations to collect certification data, such as flight loads and performance testing. Data collected will support the type´s military type certification campaign.

The UK service has orders for 16 examples, which it will designate the Protector RG1.