Predator UAS Family Achieves 150,000 Flight Hours


Sep 20, 2005

Over Two-Thirds of Total Hours Spent in Combat

SAN DIEGO – September 19, 2005 - General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft and high resolution surveillance and radar imaging systems, today announced that the Predator® unmanned aircraft system (UAS) family achieved a milestone of 150,000 flight hours last month, with over two-thirds (100,000 hours) of that time spent in combat. Predator Series aircraft are currently flying more than 5,000 hours a month and continue to maintain the highest operational readiness rates in the U.S. inventory.

“The Predator Series of unmanned aircraft systems had made a significant impact on the global war on terrorism, providing persistent ISR and full-mission capability to military users and decision-makers around the world,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems, Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “Now with an experience base of more than 150,000 flight hours, no other UAS manufacturer can match the combat-proven, unparalleled performance and exceptional reliability of the Predator family.”

Predator, the company’s flagship UAS, has been operational in every U.S. conflict since 1995. Since its development in 1994, Predator’s capabilities have evolved rapidly, with the Predator Series now including a variety of additional aircraft systems, including Altus®, I-GNAT®, Predator B, Altair®, Army I-GNAT ER and Warrior™. Predator Series aircraft are in constant daily operations supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Government, NASA, NOAA, Italian Air Force, Turkish Army and other customers and have been deployed in world trouble spots on five continents, including operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

GA-ASI is the prime contractor for the Predator Series, with a combined total of some 180 aircraft built and operational. Recently, the company also significantly expanded its work with the U.S. Army with the first phase award of a procurement contract for the Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV Program. In addition, GA-ASI was just awarded the first Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unmanned aircraft system procurement contract. As a result of both these recent contract wins, GA-ASI is currently seeking to fill a variety of positions at its San Diego, Gray Butte, El Mirage, Adelanto and Creech Air Force Base facilities. Qualified applicants are invited to attend the company’s upcoming Job Fair, which will be held at its Rancho Bernardo facility on September 22nd from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on September 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information information, please see

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of privately held General Atomics, provides comprehensive solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely operated aircraft (ROA) systems, including the Predator UAS series, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures and integrates the Magnum (Raptor View) high-resolution EO/IR and Lynx® SAR/GMTI sensor systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Leading the industry to new levels of performance, reliability, and operational capability since its establishment in 1993, the company has expanded the acceptance and application of unmanned aircraft systems within the United States and among allied forces around the world. GA-ASI is committed to providing immediately deployable transformational technology for military operations, weapons systems and civil missions. For more information, please visit

Predator, Altus, I-GNAT, Altair and Lynx are registered trademarks and Warrior is a 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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