Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems

The Predator B ER is an advanced derivative of the Predator B shown here (Photo: General A...

The Predator B (AKA the MQ-9 Reaper) is a pretty impressive bit of machinery. The unmanned military drone has an official range of 1,151 mi (1,852 km, 1,000 nautical miles), and a flight endurance when fully loaded of 14 hours, but for the US Air Force that isn't good enough. At this year’s Farnborough Airshow, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc, the builder of the Predator B, announced the second successful endurance flight of its Predator B Extended Range (ER) Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA), which flew from June 17 to June 18 as part of a program to improve the Predator’s endurance and capabilities.  Read More

Artist's concept of a ship equipped with a railgun turret (Image: US Navy)

Watching old war movies, we expect firing a navy gun to be accompanied by a deafening bang and a dramatic cloud of burnt powder. This being the 21st century, the US Navy has other ideas as it prepares to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun on a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel in 2016 as part of a program to develop the naval artillery of the future.  Read More

A Sense and Avoid (SAA) system that allows UAVs to operate safely around other aircraft in...

Palmdale, CA. General Atomics Aeronautical System, Inc. (GA-ASI), the maker of the Predator and Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) successfully completed the first of several flight tests of a prototype Sense and Avoid (SAA) system, that allows a UAV to see and avoid other aircraft in flight.  Read More

The Block 1 Predator B (pictured) has received an upgrade with a successful first test fli...

Having racked up more than 420,000 flight hours, the venerable Block 1 Predator B (aka the MQ-9 Reaper) UAV that General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been producing since 2003 has received an upgrade. The revamped Predator B gets a bump in electrical power, more secure communications, auto land capabilities, streamlined payload integration capabilities and an increase in Gross Takeoff Weight (GTOW) to handle heavier payloads or additional fuel.  Read More

Sky Warrior UAS

General Atomics' Sky Warrior unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has for the first time demonstrated automatic takeoff and landing capabilities under control of the Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) One System® Ground Control Station (OSGCS). Three landings and three takeoffs took place during August and September at the El Mirage Flight Operations Center in Adelanto, California and represent another milestone for the system which is due to be fielded in mid 2009.  Read More

General Atomics Sky Warrior UAV

April 18, 2008 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GAASI) has announced the successful flight of the first Sky Warrior® Block 1 aircraft for the U.S. Army’s Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program. Derived from the Predator UAV which has been deployed in Iraq, but with double the weapons capacity, the Sky Warrior is a multi-mission aircraft designed to perform long-endurance, surveillance, communications relay and tactical strike missions. It offers increased range, greater payload flexibility (including the ability to carry four Hellfire missiles) and can remain airborne for 30 hours at a time at altitudes above 25,000 feet.  Read More

The MQ-9 Reaper

August 31, 2007 The US Airforce has announced the deployment of a new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Capable of carrying a payload of 3,750 pounds, the jet-fighter sized MQ-9 Reaper can fly at 300mph, reach 50,000 feet and stay airborne for 14 hours at a time. The "hunter-killer" UAV also incorporates Infrared, laser and radar targeting and is capable of deploying precision guided weapons.  Read More

The Sky Warrior, from General Atomics

June 18, 2007 Resurrecting a great name from the 1950s, General Atomics have completed the maiden flight of their Sky Warrior Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). While the original, built by Douglas, was known for being the largest and heaviest "whale" of a bomber to take-off and land on aircraft carriers, the new Sky Warrior will operate as an unmanned long range surveillance, communications and weapons delivery drone. Able to run happily on diesel or jet fuel due to its Heavy Fuel Engine, the Sky Warrior will form a key part of the U.S. Army's Extended Range/Multi Purpose Unmanned Aircraft system.  Read More

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