Unmanned Vehicles

US Army invests in Gray Eagle ER capabilities

13th December 2019 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Army has awarded multiple contracts to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) to upgrade the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range's (GE ER) capabilities and survivability.

The company will enhance the aircraft’s avionics, datalinks and software in order to improve the MQ-1C's operational capability in contested environments.

The improvements will be achieved via an open architecture concept that is capable of hosting government-owned software, as well as increased autonomy required to support Scalable Control Interface and the rapid integration of long-range sensors, both of which will enable the army’s vision for Multi-Domain Operations (MDO).

David Alexander, president, GA-ASI, said: ‘The army is investing in the Gray Eagle system because they get a tremendous performance increase as a return on their investment.

‘GE-ER provides the US Army with a UAS that adjusts to the changing threat environment and mission needs with unmatched endurance.’

GA-ASI recently completed an open competition to modernise the datalinks on the UAS. Tenets for the competition included modular architecture with government-owned interfaces, reduction in size, weight and power, with increased reliability, soldier maintainability, and growth for future MDO requirements. Vendors selected include L3Harris Technologies, Airbus, Hughes Network Systems and Ramona Research.

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