MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (ER) series from GA-ASI begins flight testing
SAN DIEGO. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (ER) series from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) completed its initial flight from El Mirage Flight Operations Facility in Adelanto, California on October 29th.
The MQ-1C Gray Eagle ER unmanned aerial system (UAS) - a derivative of the Gray Eagle UAS - was developed by GA-ASI on Internal Research and Development (IRAD) to increase endurance and payload capacity. Officials say, it is expected to complete flight testing in June 2017 and then will begin Army test events culminating in the program’s second follow-on operational test and evaluation in late 2017.
The first four aircraft are expected to be delivered in the second and third quarter of 2017, with an additional 15 over the course of 2018. Engineers designed the aircraft with a Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight (MGTOW) of 4,200 pounds. The MQ-1C ER’s straight belly design allows for more than 910 pounds of internal fuel and a centerline hard point that can accommodate an optional fuel pod with an additional 450 pounds.
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