Certifiable Predator B flies in California
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) announced on 28 November that its Type-Certifiable Predator B (TCPB) variant has successfully completed its first flight test at Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California.
Testing for type certification will continue for the next two years with delivery to the UK Royal Air Force anticipated to commence in late 2018. Three company-owned aircraft and two airframes designed for full-scale fatigue and static testing will be used for the qualification process.
The TCPB will be developed in different configurations, including an unweaponised maritime patrol variant to support open-ocean and littoral surface surveillance for coast guard, border patrol and disaster relief missions.
The aircraft is fully compliant with NATO's UAV System Airworthiness Requirements and the related UK DEFSTAN 00-970.
Linden Blue, CEO at GA-ASI, said: ‘The first flight of our Certifiable Predator-B aircraft is a major milestone in our progression towards delivering a RPA that meets all NATO airworthiness requirements’.
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