General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced that its Predator®-series of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), which includes the Predator, Predator B, Gray Eagle, Avenger® and MQ-9B SkyGuardian® lines, has surpassed six million flight hours, the company said.
The milestone was achieved on October 31, 2019 with GA-ASI aircraft having completed 430,495 total missions with close to 90 percent of those missions flown in combat.
The identification of the specific aircraft and customer that achieved the milestone is unknown as every second of every day, 69 Predator-class Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) RPA are airborne throughout the world. Flight hours have continued to grow at unprecedented rates in recent years, with 500,000 flight hours achieved from 1993 to 2008, one million hours in 2010, two million hours in 2012, three million hours in 2014, four million hours in 2016 and five million in 2018.
GA-ASI aircraft average more than 60,000 hours per month supporting the US Air Force, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Italian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the UAE Armed Forces, and other customers. Missions include helping protect ground units on the battlefield; supporting US Customs & Border Protection operations, and first responders in the wake of natural disasters. These aircraft systems continue to maintain the highest mission capable rates for US Air Force and US Army aircraft inventories.
GA-ASI has produced more than 900 aircraft and over 400 Ground Control Stations (GCS). In addition to RPA and GCS, GA-ASI also produces Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) systems as well as sensor payloads that deliver radar and video imagery, detect moving targets on the ground and over water, and provide Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) on signals of interest. GA-ASI also integrates the data products from these disparate sensors in real time via SATCOM data links to the GCS that can be correlated and displayed as actionable intelligence for use in Operations and Intelligence Centers around the world.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.