General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Expands Production Capability


Feb 14, 2005

Increased Demand for Predator® & Predator B UAVs Fuels Growth in Facilities & Staffing

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, today announced that it is expanding into a new production facility in the Sabre Springs area of San Diego in response to greatly increased demand for its Predator and Predator B unmanned aircraft systems.

"The tremendous demonstrated capability of Predator over Iraq has generated a new level of interest by the U.S. government, particularly the U.S. Air Force, and we are ramping up production to meet their requirements for additional aircraft," said Thomas J. Cassidy, president and chief executive officer of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. "The MQ-1 Predators and propjet MQ-9 Predator Bs are the most successful unmanned aircraft systems ever developed, and this expansion will not only enable us to meet the immediate requirements of the Air Force for additional Predators, but also increase our capacity to support other customers' needs."

Following a year-long remodeling effort, GA-ASI has begun moving its composite manufacturing operations – including tooling, lay-up, wing and fuselage assembly, and painting -- into a 160,000-square-foot advanced, leading-edge production facility located in the Sabre Springs Business Park. The new facility will increase the company’s manufacturing floor space to over 800,000-square-feet and free up production room at its Rancho Bernardo facility, where all final aircraft integration is conducted. More than half of the components for GA-ASI’s unmanned aircraft systems are manufactured on-site, a rarity within the industry.

Approximately 100 of the company’s more than 800 employees in the Rancho Bernardo area will be affected by the move. GA-ASI employs nearly 1,200 Southern California residents among its nine facilities in San Diego, Victorville and Palmdale. Growing its employee population by some 15 percent last year, customer demand continues to drive expansion, with current job openings numbering more than 300. The company is currently seeking qualified applicants for a variety of positions and will be hosting a job fair at its Rancho Bernardo facility on March 3rd and 5th.

Predators have been employed extensively in combat operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. USAF MQ-1 Predators provide continuous armed reconnaissance for U.S. operations over Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis, 24-hours-a-day. Predators are also operated over Iraq by the U.S. Army and Italian Air Force.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable, unmanned aircraft systems for military and commercial applications worldwide. Established in 1993, the company has expanded the acceptance and application of unmanned aircraft systems with the combat-proven Army I-GNAT®, operational with the U.S. Army; Predator, which has accumulated more than 120,000 flight hours with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force; the turboprop powered Predator B MQ-9 "Hunter-Killer," operational with the U.S. Air Force; and ALTUS® and ALTAIR®, operated in conjunction with NASA for scientific research, atmospheric monitoring, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. GA-ASI has also led the way in providing the war fighter with a weapons delivery capability on Predator and Predator B. The company is dedicated to providing long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft systems to meet demanding and diverse customer requirements. For more information, please visit

Predator is a registered trademark of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact:

Kimberly Kasitz
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

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