GA-ASI Honored by USAF Association for Industrial Leadership


Sep 17, 2009

MQ-9 Reaper Receives Prestigious John R. Alison Award

WASHINGTON DC 17 September 2009 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and surveillance systems, today announced that it has received the John R. Alison Award, the highest honor given for industrial leadership by the U.S. Air Force Association (AFA). The award was presented yesterday to Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president of GA-ASI’s Aircraft Systems Group, during AFA’s annual Anniversary Dinner in Washington, DC, and recognizes the company for developing and producing the multi-mission MQ-9 Reaper UAS (a.k.a. Predator® B) as a significant military contributor to the country’s national defense interests.

“Since its first flight in 2001, the multi-mission Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper has demonstrated superior reliability, affordability, and surveillance capabilities,” said Cassidy, “and we thank the Air Force for recognizing our ability to deliver yet another proven, reliable, unmanned aircraft system to support our national security objectives. Our employees have done a wonderful job developing and supporting these aircraft that have made such a difference in how we fight wars and maintain peace,” added Cassidy during his acceptance speech.

In 2004, GA-ASI was presented with the John R. Alison Award for industrial leadership for MQ-1 Predator’s contributions to U.S. national security interests.

With one of the highest operational ready rates in the U.S. Air Force military aircraft inventory, USAF MQ-9 Reapers have amassed nearly 50,000 flight hours, accounting for over half of the more than 75,000 Predator B hours accumulated to date. Including Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper contributions, total flight hours for the Predator-series number more than 800,000 while daily supporting combat forces and safeguarding homeland security with persistent situational awareness. Mission capabilities range from long-endurance reconnaissance and precision strike to border protection and maritime surveillance on a worldwide basis.

“AFA is proud to recognize General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ outstanding contributions to the nation and to the Air Force,” said Joe Sutter, chairman of the board for AFA. “Such recognition is reserved for significant professional excellence and major contributions to national defense. Our nation depends on innovative, dedicated professionals like those at GA-ASI.”

Powered by a turboprop engine, the GA-ASI-developed Predator B is a long-endurance, high-altitude unmanned aircraft designed for use as a multi-mission system over land or sea – from reconnaissance, maritime surveillance, targeting, and weapons delivery to scientific research, disaster response and other civilian applications. Predator B is based on the reliability of the Predator airframe, avionics, mechanical systems, data link, and flight control technology but has a 500 percent greater payload capacity than Predator (800 lb internal, 3,000 lb external), an endurance over 30 hours, speeds greater than 240 KTAS, and can operate above 50,000 feet. It features a fault-tolerant redundant flight control system with triple-redundant avionics for increased reliability and can be configured with a variety of weapons, carrying up to 3,000 pounds of external ordnance. Operational with the USAF as MQ-9 Reaper, the aircraft is also operational with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Navy, NASA, and the Royal Air Force, and it also has been acquired by the Italian Air Force.

High-resolution photos of USAF MQ-9 Reaper aircraft are available 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 unmanned 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 unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Sky Warrior®, and the new Predator C Avenger®. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital ground control stations (GCSs), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® SAR/GMTI radar and sophisticated CLAW® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and unmanned aircraft. It also 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

Predator, Sky Warrior, Avenger, Lynx, and CLAW are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact:

Kimberly Kasitz

Public Relations Manager

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.




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