General Atomics' Eaglet air-launched effect soars in first flight
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has flown a new air-launched effect (ALE), dubbed Eaglet, for the first time.
Eaglet was launched from a US Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) UAS during a demonstration out of Utah’s Dugway Proving Grounds last December.
The test flight was jointly funded by the US-based UAS maker and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC).
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GA-ASI president David R Alexander said: ‘Eaglet is intended to be a low-cost, survivable UAS with the versatility to be launched from a Gray Eagle, rotary-wing aircraft, or ground vehicles.
‘It enables extended reach of sensors and increased lethality while providing survivability for manned aircraft.’
GA-ASI said Eaglet could carry a diverse range of payloads supporting a range of army missions.
A Gray Eagle UAS can carry the system over long distances before being launched.
Eaglet can also work alongside other long-range payloads carried by aircraft to support so-called multi-domain operations.
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