USAF Block 50 GCS passes CDR
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) of the US Air Force’s (USAF) Advanced Cockpit Block 50 Ground Control Station (GCS) for remotely piloted aircraft, the company announced on 20 June.
The system features a Hands on Throttle and Stick for flight, weapons, payload and sensor system control on a single display. Synthetic video is displayed with 3D graphics and moving maps on a touch screen.
The Block 50 features an open architecture which has full physical and functional payload separation to allow quicker integration, testing, and fielding of new payloads.
A Cockpit Evaluation team, comprised of USAF pilots and sensor operators, have designed the Block 50's Human Machine Interface to reduce pilot and operator workload. Block 50 is designed for single seat operations.
Under the development contract with the USAF, three Block 50 GCS have been completed and are in initial developmental testing, with four additional ground stations in work to include mobile shelter and fixed facility configurations. MQ-9 Reaper ground and flight tests are scheduled for next year after the completion of the systems integration and ground test phase.
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