Gray Eagle completes 20,000 automated take-offs and landings
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, announced that its Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has reached a record 20,000 successful automatic launch and recoveries with the automatic take-off and landing system (ATLS).
This milestone was achieved on September 25 and comes just 15 months after reaching 10,000 events in June 2012.
ATLS has been deployed at eight sites worldwide, including three overseas, with four additional sites planned by January 2015. Recently, successful ATLS flight testing was performed in support of a reduced take-off and landing pattern for operations in limited air space.
“In addition to providing the Army with significant cost savings through optimised operator workload and training, Gray Eagle’s ATLS continues to increase the aircraft’s reliability,” said Frank W. Pace, President, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. “These last 10,000 take-offs and landings were achieved without a single event of significant damage.”
Currently flying 3,200 flight hours per month, the Army’s Gray Eagle Block 1 aircraft has accumulated more than 80,000 flight hours since it was first deployed in 2009. The fleet has grown to 75 aircraft delivered, with another 34 planned within the next 14 months. Within the last year, cumulative flight hours were up 64 per cent as Gray Eagle continues to provide unrivaled and innovative capabilities to the war-fighter.