General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., has won a $82 million modification contract for the U.K. MQ-9B Protector program.

This modification provides for the design, development, integration and component-level testing of additional capabilities being added to the baseline program.

Work is expected to be completed August 31, 2021.

In July, the U.K. Ministry of Defense announced a £65 million contract to build the country’s first three Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS).

MQ-9B Protector

The aircraft has the ability to fly consistently for up to 40 hours, and will have advanced anti-icing and lightning protection. Protector also comes with enhanced data links and will carry next-generation, low collateral, precision strike weapons – the UK-made Brimstone missile (MBDA) and Paveway IV Laser Guided Bomb (Raytheon UK).