The Army IGNAT UAV Operationally Available 24/7 in Iraq


Sep 24, 2004

September 24, 2004 - San Diego, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, announced today that the Army IGNAT-Extended Range (ER) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system which is deployed with the U.S. Army has sustained a full mission capability rate of 95%, a significant achievement for any aircraft system in combat. The deployed system consists of aircraft and a ground control station plus ten people which include operators for the aircraft and sensors and maintenance technicians. The aircraft are configured with a range of sensors including a synthetic aperture radar.

In March 2003, the U.S. Army awarded GA-ASI a $7.99 million contract for three IGNAT-ER aircraft plus a modular ground control station, portable ground data terminals and associated ground support equipment and spare parts. This procurement was originally designed to provide the U.S. Army with a UAV system to support the development of its UAV Concept of Operations under the transformation of its Objective Force Unit of Employment/Unit of Action force structure. Due to an urgent operational requirement, manufacturing, operational flight testing and delivery were accelerated to provide the first aircraft in March, two months ahead of the contracted schedule. The IGNAT-ER system continues to provide reconnaissance and surveillance for troops on the ground in Iraq, flying at least twelve hours a day, every day.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. was established in 1993 to design, develop and deliver proven and reliable unmanned aircraft systems for various customers throughout the world. The U.S. Army, along with the Navy and Air Force, has procured the company’s I-GNAT, Predator and Predator B aircraft systems. Aircraft produced by the company have accumulated over 100,000 flight hours, almost two thirds of which have been in combat. The company is dedicated to providing long endurance, mission capable aircraft systems for a variety of mission applications including surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting, weapons delivery, scientific research, atmospheric monitoring and other commercial applications. Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr. is President and Chief Executive Officer.

For more information contact:

Public Relations Department
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.


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