U.S. Air Force Workhorse Heralded for Unrivalled Reliability and Performance
SAN DIEGO – 28 June 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 a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Predator® RPA has reached a record 20,000 flight hours on a single aircraft, the highest flight time of any USAF Predator. The milestone was achieved by Predator 107 (P107) while performing a 21-hour combat mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on May 5.
"Amassing 20,000 hours on a single RPA airframe is a remarkable achievement and a true testament to the GA-ASI team, which strives to create highly reliable, durable, and life-saving tools in support of the warfighter," said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. "With the highest Mission Capable Rate of any aircraft in the Air Force inventory, Predators will be available to support our boots on the ground for many years to come."
P107 was delivered to USAF in October 2004, where it began service with the 57th Wing Air Combat Command (ACC). In June 2008, the aircraft was transferred to the 432d Wing with the standup of the first USAF Remotely Piloted Aircraft Wing. Over 95 percent of P107's flight time has been flown in combat in support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).
Providing essential situational awareness for the warfighter, Predators continue to excel in combat missions focusing on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), targeting, forward air control, laser designation, weapons delivery, and bomb damage assessment. Predator was first flown in 1994 and is the first-ever weaponized RPA, featuring precision air-to-ground weapons delivery capability. Arguably the most successful RPA in history, the aircraft has deployed to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other world trouble spots.
High-resolution photos of Predator are available to qualified media outlets from the GA-ASI media contact listed below.
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 www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Gray Eagle, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Posted on Jun 28, 2013