General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced the completion of a successful airborne demonstration in which its Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 UAS was equipped with the Raytheon ALR-69A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR).
The RWR is carried within GA-ASI’s standard payload pod, and is responsible for identifying potential radar threats in or near “contested airspace” environments, which provides aircrew and air element command and control units with improved situational awareness.
“The successful demonstration of a mature radar warning receiver on our company-owned Predator B clearly shows the utility of the aircraft in conducting missions in the proximity of threat radars and enemy air defenses,” says executive vice president of Mission Systems at GA-ASI, Claudio Pereida, through press release
“We are pleased to be the first company to demonstrate this capability on a remotely piloted aircraft and hope to make it available to interested customers on a quick-reaction basis.”
In various flight profiles, the payload pod was able to validate RWR performance which met or exceeded current thresholds for both ground and air radar threats.
Also, the information provided by the RWR to the flight crew helped trigger flight crew action, including validating threat information by manually cross-cueing to other onboard sensors.
“The ALR-69A provides improved detection range and accurate, unambiguous identification in dense signal environments,” says Paul Overstreet, ALR-69A program manager at Raytheon.
“Its open architecture is what allows it to operate on manned or unmanned aircraft.”
The Predator UAS operated from GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in California, against a number of ground based radars.
Later this year, GA-ASI will conduct more RWR demonstrations to include integrating with a military tactical data exchange network called Link 16.
The Internal Research and Development (IRAD) is providing funding for development and testing, and the goal is to partner with potential customers in the near future.
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