S AN DIEGO. Partnered with the US Army, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently completed Follow-On Operational Test & Evaluation (FOT&E) for its MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range. Testing of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) began in early June and spanned 644 flight hours during the testing period. The successful test opens the door for MQ-1C ER initial fielding to the US Army Intelligence & Security Command (INSCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), followed by units from Forces Command (FORSCOM) a company press statement said on October 8.
“We expected the Gray Eagle Extended Range to perform well and it performed as advertised,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “The FOT&E highlighted some of the key benefits that the MQ-1C ER will deliver to our US Army customer, including significantly increased endurance, more payload capacity to support future mission tasking, and considerable improvements in system reliability and maintainability.”
MQ-1C-ER flew close to 40 hours in support of critical testing which yielded results that significantly exceeded the goals for endurance. The soldiers tested the full range of MQ-1C-ER’s capability to support the Army’s vision for long range and persistent reconnaissance.
“The Gray Eagle ER clearly demonstrated its ability to support the future force. We added multiple payloads that enable it to perform a wide range of missions to further support the warfighter in contested operations,” said Alexander.
The FOT&E was conducted in Palmdale, California at Air Force Plant 42.