Spanish Predator-B makes its first flight in Lanzarote

A Spanish Air and Space Force (SASF)-operated MQ-9A Predator-B (serial NR.05-04 '233-04') completed its first flight from the Lanzarote Military Aerodrome on October 3.

Outside the military hangars at Lanzarote airport, the Predator B powers up for its first flight operating from a future deployment airfield.
Outside the military hangars at Lanzarote airport, the Predator B powers up for its first flight operating from a future deployment airfield. SASF

This milestone flight marked the first sortie to be carried out away from the Predator's main base, Talavera La Real Air Base in western Spain. The trials were carried out to certify the initial operational capability (IOC) of the type's future operational deployment location and test the effectiveness of the new systems and procedures that have been put in place at the aerodrome in recent months. Such operations were carried out during periods of maximum civil air traffic influxes and in coordination with the nearby César Manrique International Airport. The trials showed these developments as a success.

Developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI), the Predator B was acquired by Spain in 2016, after it awarded GA-ASI and SENER a contract to provide one Predator remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) to the Spanish Air Force, which included four aircraft. The aircraft are equipped with MTS-B electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors and GA-ASI’s Block 20A Lynx Multi-Mode Radar. Also part of the deal are two Block 30 Ground Control Stations (GCS), along with satellite communications (SATCOM) and line-of-sight (LOS) datalink capabilities.

Spanish Air Force Predator B taxies out for its first flight at Lanzarote military aerodrome
Spanish Air Force Predator B taxies out for its first flight at Lanzarote military aerodrome. SASF