General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has conducted the second in a series of internally-funded Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) demonstrations using a company-owned Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in Arizona on Jan. 30.
For the demonstrations, GA-ASI partnered with industry to integrate best-of-breed long-range Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads and Air Launch Effects (ALEs) on the GE-ER unmanned aircraft. The aircraft showed a persistent stand-off capability with up to 40 hours of endurance that Commanders can leverage to orchestrate forces in the MDO environment.
During the flight, the GE-ER identified emitters with Communications Intelligence (COMINT) payload while operating at 25,000 feet, cross-cueing the onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to produce precision coordinates sufficient for targeting within minutes. L3Harris’ Rio Nino lightweight COMINT system, capable of detecting emitters out to 250 km, was combined with GA-ASI’s Lynx SAR to perform the task. The flight activities were all controlled from a GA-ASI laptop-based Scalable Command and Control (SC2) system.
Additionally, the aircraft carried two Area-I Altius-600 ALEs. The ALEs will be launched and controlled through the GE-ER for the next flight demonstration this summer.
“We are excited to team with industry partners to demonstrate these capabilities on the Gray Eagle ER,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “The long-range radar, COMINT and ELINT packages, as well as launch and control of ALEs and the GBU-69B Small Glide Munition are all capabilities that are available today on the Gray Eagle ER.”
The first in the series of MDO demos using GE-ER was conducted last year and the third in the series is set for this summer.
GE-ER is a long-range variant of the U.S. Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. It provides the U.S. Army with increased endurance, more payload capacity to support future mission tasking, and considerable improvements in system reliability and maintainability.