Block 50 GCS flies MQ-9 Reaper
The US Air Force’s new Block 50 Ground Control Station (GCS) controlled an MQ-9 Reaper RPA for the first time on 8 January 2019 from the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) Gray Butte Flight Operations facility near Palmdale, California.
The design of the GA-ASI-developed Block 50 GCS provides separation of flight critical components to increase flight safety posture, enable rapid testing and integration of new mission capabilities.
The GCS features an intuitive glass cockpit design that reduces operator workload and increases effectiveness of mission execution through electronic checklists and integrated mission data information displays and allows for single seat operations. A new multi-level secure integrated communication system provides improved situational awareness, leveraging an upgraded network infrastructure for sharing information throughout a globally connected GCS and Squadron operating centre network.
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