Gray Eagle ER programme marches on
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) expects flight tests of its modernised MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (ER) UAS to take place in Q4 this year, after it successfully tested an advanced data link capability on the aircraft.
The joint US Army and GA-ASI ground demonstration in December 2021 showed the capability of the UAS ‘to maintain link [via Link 16] and support high bandwidth data rates with Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) Ku/Ka-band satellites and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) Ka-band satellites with common hardware and software’, GA-ASI noted in a 3 February statement.
As a result, the modernised Gray Eagle would be able to use multiple satellite constellations to support continuous operations in contested environments.
‘Extensive use of Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) principles, along with Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), made this capability possible,’ said Don Cattell, VP of army programmes at GA-ASI.
Shephard Defence Insight calculates that 111 Gray Eagle ER aircraft will be supplied to the US Army.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
The Royal Danish Navy is boosting its autonomous mine countermeasures capabilities by procuring new uncrewed underwater systems.
A defence analyst claims that Russia's move to acquire and deploy Iranian UAV's in Ukraine tells of wider weapons supply issues and a depletion of stocks.
A team at the University of Maine will define a path forward to support advanced manufacturing of USVs, under a contract from the US Office of Naval Research.
Insitu receives order for 13 Blackjack and 25 ScanEagle UAVs.
Ukraine ordered 40 Warmates, half of which have already reached frontline units with the remainder to arrive by the end of September.
Despite a number of Skyborg test successes, a defence expert has questioned how the development of next generation drones will advance without activities being concentrated and clear requirements set out.