General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced today that the family of Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) surpassed 1 million flight hours on March 16, 2021 during U.S. Army flight operations.
The first flight of an early variant of the Gray Eagle UAS family called Army IGNAT took place in March 2004. Since that first flight, GA-ASI and the U.S. Army have fielded over 250 Gray Eagle-type aircraft, including the new Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) aircraft. Over 80% of the 1 million flight hours were flown in support of deployed operations with a better than 90% Mission Capable Rate.
The GE-ER UAS is a 40-hour endurance aircraft with increased payload capacity, reliability and maintainability over the legacy MQ-1C Gray Eagle first fielded in 2009. On the dawn of the next million flight hours, GE-ER is being further enhanced under the U.S. Army’s modernization program to incorporate leading-edge technology for standoff survivability, while expanding the payload capabilities to include Air Launched Effects (ALEs) and long-range sensors for stand-in effects. This MDO-ready UAS will be powered by a new 200-hp Enhanced Heavy Fuel Engine and dual 7.5kw brushless generators to enable the growing capabilities needed by commanders in the future MDO environment.