FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 31, 2006
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and U.S. Customs & Border Protection Deploy Second UAS Along Southwest Border
Proven Technology to Enhance Situational Awareness Along Arizona-Mexico Border
SAN DIEGO – 31 October 2006 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft and high-resolution surveillance and radar imaging systems, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine, yesterday unveiled CBP-104, CBP’s second Predator® B unmanned aircraft system (UAS), at Ft. Huachuca/Muni-Libby Army Air Field (AAF) in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
“This second Predator B aircraft, along with current orders for two additional systems and no doubt more to follow, will not only permit full operations along the southwest border, but will also offer the flexibility to support other border regions as well,” said Thomas J. Cassidy Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “This will provide CBP with a dramatic increase in its existing border domain awareness capability.”
Featuring an enhanced Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) camera system and Ku-band satellite equipment, CBP-104 will begin operating from Libby AAF in support of border security operations along the Arizona border with Mexico in November. By early 2007, operation of the aircraft will transfer to CBP’s Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) in Riverside, Calif., which will fly the aircraft remotely via satellite communications.
“Our frontline agents deserve proven, effective technology that equips them to secure our borders and to prevent terrorism,” said W. Ralph Basham, commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “This unmanned aircraft system provides us with the situational awareness we need to more effectively deny illegal entry to our nation’s borders.”
Providing situational awareness well beyond the capabilities of manned aircraft, the multi-mission Predator B remains the cost-effective system of choice to support all homeland security missions across the nation’s borders and maritime approaches. Predator B is designed to fly in the National Air Space System (NAS) just like manned aircraft and incorporates the redundant avionics and communications necessary to operate with air traffic control and other aircraft. This capability, in conjunction with sophisticated sensors and long-endurance, allows the aircraft to provide persistent operational awareness, making it a tremendous force multiplier for CBP.
For high-resolution photos from the rollout of CBP-104, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/photo_gallery/breaking/. Photos may also be purchased at http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/product.aspx?p=1&e=0&pg=1&am=-1 by keying in “Predator B” under Search.
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.ga-asi.com.
Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Posted on Oct 31, 2006