The MQ-9A Reaper is a weaponized drone aircraft produced by Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. for military use. Photo courtesy of General Atomics.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. was Friday awarded a not-to-exceed $17.8M federal contract to produce unmanned military aircraft for France, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Poway-based aeronautics firm has been contracted to provide the French Air Force with weaponized drones for the country’s “MQ‐9 Block 5 weaponization and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Pod Integration effort.”

The contract provides for the weaponization of the French Air Force MQ‐9 Block 5 aircraft and integration of the FMS Pod onto the French Air Force MQ‐9 Block 5 aircraft.

Work will be performed in Poway, and is expected to be complete by the end of November 2021.

All of the weaponized drones produced under the contract are for foreign military sales to France, according to the DoD.

Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $8.7M were obligated at the time of award.

— Staff report

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