FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 13, 2006
ARMY I-GNAT ER Aircraft Breaks Predator UAS Series Record, Achieving Most Flight & Combat Hours by a Single UAS in the Family
AI-001 Reaches 5,000 Flight & Combat Hours in Just Over 2.5 Years in Operation
SAN DIEGO – 13 October 2006 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft and high-resolution surveillance and radar imaging systems, today announced that AI-001, the first Army I-GNAT® ER unmanned aircraft produced for the U.S. Army, has recently passed 5,000 flight hours. This aircraft, initially deployed in March 2004, has been involved in continuous operations and achieved this major milestone on its 428th combat mission.
“This record achievement is a testament to the reliability and flexibility of Predator® series aircraft that have provided such tremendous support to our combat forces operating in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “With the highest full-mission capability rate of any operational U.S. Army unmanned aircraft system [UAS], the Army I-GNAT ER, a derivative of the combat-proven Predator, continues to prove its worth as one of the most durable and operationally flexible UAS ever built.”
All Army I-GNAT ER UAS are fully contractor-supported, and fielded aircraft operate with satellite communications (SATCOM) control to allow for beyond line-of-sight operation.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, provides comprehensive solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator®, Predator B and the ER/MP UAS, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Aircraft Systems Group has been awarded the SDD phase of the U.S. Army’s ER/MP UAS Program and is currently developing the next-generation Army UAS, featuring a heavy-fuel engine, triple-redundant avionics and increased armament capability. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures and integrates the Lynx® SAR/GMTI sensor system for both manned and unmanned aircraft and is also pursuing the integration of the Magnum (Raptor View) high-resolution EO/IR sensor onto a UAS platform. Leading the industry to new levels of performance, reliability and operational capability since its establishment in 1993, the company has expanded the acceptance and application of UAS within the United States and among allied forces around the globe. GA-ASI is committed to providing immediately deployable, transformational technology for military operations, weapons systems and civil missions. For more information, please visit www.uav.com.
I-GNAT, Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
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Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Posted on Oct 13, 2006