The U.S. Army Contracting Command has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical $40 million for MQ-1C Gray Eagleunmanned aircraft system.
In a statement made Thursday by the U.S. Department of Defense’s, General Atomics Aeronautical was awarded a $40,000,000 modification to contract W58RGZ-17-C-0035 for services on the Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system.
Also added that work will be performed in Poway, California, with an estimated completion date of June 15, 2019.
The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system that has been in service since 2009. With a wingspan of 56 ft., improved fuel-capacity and payload, the Gray Eagle is more reliable and flexible than previous UAS aircraft used by the Army.
MQ-1C unmanned aircraft give ground commanders continuous surveillance for ground threats – and eliminate these threats with precise air-to-surface missile strikes – all without putting American Soldiers at risk.
Gray Eagle has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet, and carries 1,075 lb (488 kg) of internal and external payload. The aircraft can carry multiple payloads aloft, including Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) with laser designation, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), communications relay, and four Hellfire missiles.
Compared to the Predator predecessor, Gray Eagle’s Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE) supports the Army’s “single fuel in the battlefield” concept and provides increased horsepower and significantly improved fuel efficiency, utilizing either jet or diesel fuel.
An extremely reliable UAS, Gray Eagle features a fault-tolerant control system and a triple-redundant avionics system architecture, similar to the systems integrated in the battle-proven Predator B. Designed with airworthiness as a primary consideration, Gray Eagle is engineered to meet and exceed manned aircraft reliability standards.