FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 11, 2004
October 11, 2004 -- San Diego, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems, announced that the RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft has achieved a milestone of 100,000 flight hours. This significant achievement occurred on September 27, 2004, during a routine combat mission over Iraq with the U.S. Air Force Predator number 61 (P-61). In June 2004, GA-ASI family of unmanned aircraft achieved 100,000 total flight hours – the accomplishment of 100,000 flight hours for a single model of aircraft is truly extraordinary.
Predator, developed in 1994, has been operational in every U.S. conflict since 1995, and has amassed almost 70,000 combat flight hours. Configured with an electro-optical and infrared camera system and synthetic aperture radar, Predator has provided field commanders and the National Command Authority with a unique surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence capability for more than nine years. The introduction of the Hellfire missile air-to-surface attack capability in 2001 has significantly changed the way that Predator has contributed to the war on terrorism. Predators are flying more than 3000 flight hours per month while maintaining the highest operational readiness rates in USAF inventory. Predator is the major contributor to U.S. tactical reconnaissance in theater.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Department
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.