General Atomics’ Aeronautical Systems division, or GS-ASI, has released a new rendering of its stealthy, next-generation unmanned aircraft system.
The GA-ASI released a new rendering of the new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike unmanned air vehicle (UAV)’s design on its social media page on Friday.
The company Twitter post states: “Our robust digital engineering and advanced manufacturing practices deliver affordable dominant weapon systems to the warfighter with the speed and lethality required to maintain overmatch.”
According to open sources, the new flying-wing unmanned aircraft is designing as a proposed replacement of the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.
The design of the new concept incorporated holistic signature reduction techniques across RF, IR, visual, and acoustic domains. The long, thin flying-wing design of the new combat drone also appears to have all areas of stealth technology, from the aircraft’s air inlets.
As the MQ-9 Reaper, it is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance aircraft designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), and attack missions.
The turboprop-powered, multi-mission MQ-9 was developed with GA-ASI funding and first flown in 2001. MQ-9A was designated “Reaper” by the U.S. and Royal Air Force, but has become the widely used name for any Predator B equipped with weapons.
Featuring unmatched operational flexibility, MQ-9A has an endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, can operate up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1746 kilogram) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1361 kilograms) of external stores. The aircraft carries 500% more payload and has nine times the horsepower. It provides a long-endurance, persistent surveillance/strike capability for the war fighter.
The GA-ASI, an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator series and the Lynx Multi-mode Radar.