U.S. Army aviation experts are ordering 19 MQ-1C Gray Eagle reconnaissance and attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS), as well as 19 satellite UAS control stations.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a $121.4 million contract modification to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in Poway, Calif., for the Gray Eagle UAS and satellite communications air data terminals.
The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle attack drone is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft that is an upgraded MQ-1 Predator as an extended-range multi-purpose UAS. The aircraft can be fitted with the AGM-114 Hellfire missile or GBU-44/B Viper Strike guided bomb for attack missions.
Tuesday’s contract modification follows a similar Army order last March for 19 MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS and 19 satellite communications (SATCOM) air data terminals in a $132.7 million contract.
The Gray Eagle UAS has a synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator (SAR-GMTI) system, and targeting capability from an AN/AAS-52 multi-spectral targeting system (MTS) under the nose. The aircraft can carry a payload of 800 pounds.
The MQ-1C Gray Eagle provides reconnaissance, surveillance, and target Acquisition; command and control; communications relay; signals intelligence; electronic warfare; attack; detection of weapons of mass destruction; battle damage assessment; and manned and unmanned teaming capabilities.
The Gray Eagle UAS provides Army division commanders with tactical fight capabilities for battlefield reconnaissance and air-to-ground attack. They are attached to the combat aviation brigade in each division.