Gray Eagle UAS Achieves 10,000 Automated Takeoffs and Landings
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
14200 Kirkham Way
Poway, CA, 92064
Press release date: July 25, 2012
ATLS Reduces Workload and Streamlines Training for U.S. Army Operators
SAN DIEGO - General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced that its Gray Eagle® UAS has reached a record 10,000 successful automatic launch and recoveries with the Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS). The milestone was achieved on June 2 while it performed a routine surveillance mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Gray Eagle's ATLS also successfully executed the extremely difficult maneuver of landing in a 26 knot crosswind.
"Gray Eagle's ATLS is providing the Army with significant cost savings as it reduces operator workload, streamlines operator training, and enhances aircraft reliability," said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI.
In less than two years, cumulative flight hours for the Gray Eagle fleet have more than doubled, serving as a testament to the growing demand by the Army war fighter for this highly reliable, durable, and operationally flexible aircraft. Currently flying 2,300 flight hours per month across six deployment and training sites, the Army's Gray Eagle Block 1 aircraft has accumulated more than 35,000 flight hours since it was first deployed in 2008. Today the fleet has grown to 50 aircraft and maintains a greater than 80% system operational availability rate.
A technologically advanced derivative of the combat-proven Predator® UAS, Gray Eagle is dedicated to direct operational control by Army field commanders. Its expansive mission set includes persistent, broad-area Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); convoy protection, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection, providing aerial imagery to combat patrols, pattern of life analysis, and precision weapons delivery. A key force multiplier, Gray Eagle has an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)-only endurance of 25 hours, an operating altitude of up to 29,000 feet, and a payload capacity of over 1,000 lb.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing unmanned aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray Eagle, and the new Predator C Avenger®. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and unmanned aircraft. It also develops and integrates other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, electro-optic sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.
Gray Eagle, Predator, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.