Gray Eagle Completes 20,000 Automated Takeoffs and Landings

Gray Eagle Completes 20,000 Automated Takeoffs and Landings

AUSA ANNUAL, WASHINGTON – 23 October 2013 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced that its Gray Eagle® Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has reached a record 20,000 successful automatic launch and recoveries with the Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS). This milestone was achieved on September 25 and comes just 15 months after reaching 10,000 events in June 2012. 

ATLS has been deployed at eight sites worldwide, including three overseas, with four additional sites planned by January 2015. Recently, successful ATLS flight testing was performed in support of a reduced Takeoff and Landing pattern for operations in limited air space.

"In addition to providing the Army with significant cost savings through optimized operator workload and training, Gray Eagle's ATLS continues to increase the aircraft's reliability," said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. "These last 10,000 takeoffs and landings were achieved without a single event of significant damage."   

Currently flying 3,200 flight hours per month, the Army's Gray Eagle Block 1 aircraft has accumulated more than 80,000 flight hours since it was first deployed in 2009. The fleet has grown to 75 aircraft delivered, with another 34 planned within the next 14 months. Within the last year, cumulative flight hours were up 64 percent as Gray Eagle continues to provide unrivaled and innovative capabilities to the war fighter.

A technologically advanced derivative of the combat-proven Predator® RPA, Gray Eagle is dedicated to direct operational control by Army field commanders. Its expansive mission set includes persistent, broad-area Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); convoy protection; Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection; providing aerial imagery to combat patrols; pattern of life analysis; and precision weapons delivery. A key force multiplier, Gray Eagle has an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)-only endurance of 25 hours, an operating altitude of up to 25,000 feet, and a payload capacity of over 1,000 lb.

High-resolution photos of Gray Eagle are available upon request to qualified media outlets from the GA-ASI media contact listed below.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger®, and Predator XP. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also develops and integrates other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, electro-optic sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. For more information, please visit

Gray Eagle, Predator, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

Kimberly Kasitz

Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.