Avenger ER UAV takes flight
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) announced on 10 November the successful first flight of its new Avenger Extended Range (ER) UAV.
The flight took place at the company's Gray Butte flight operations facility in Palmdale, California. The aircraft is an extended-range version of GA-ASI's jet-powered Predator C Avenger UAV, which has flown more than 13,000 hours.
The new Avenger variant has a wingspan of 76ft and can carry 2,200lbs of additional fuel, extending the endurance of the UAV from 15 hours to 20 hours. The aircraft is suited for long-loiter intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as precision-strike missions. It can support various sensors and weapons payloads for ISR and ground support.
The Avenger ER, like the legacy Avenger, has avionics based on the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, a 44ft long fuselage, 3,000lbs payload bay and an indicated air speed of over 400 knots. It can carry payloads such as the 2,000lb Joint Direct Attack Munition, the MS-177 electro-optical/infrared sensor and GA-ASI Lynx all-weather multimode radar.
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