GA-ASI completes Follow-On Operational Test & Evaluation for its MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS



General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) and the U.S. Army recently completed Follow-On Operational Test & Evaluation (FOT&E) for GA-ASI’s MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.

Testing of the UAS, which began in early June, spanned 644 flight hours during the testing period.

According to GA-ASI, the successful test opens the door for MQ-1C ER initial fielding to the U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command (INSCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), followed by units from Forces Command (FORSCOM).

“We expected the Gray Eagle Extended Range to perform well and it performed as advertised,” says David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI.

“The FOT&E highlighted some of the key benefits that the MQ-1C ER will deliver to our U.S. Army customer, including significantly increased endurance, more payload capacity to support future mission tasking, and considerable improvements in system reliability and maintainability.”

The UAS flew almost 40 hours in support of important testing, which produced results that “significantly exceeded the goals for endurance,” GA-ASI says. Soldiers tested the full range of the UAS’ capability to support the Army’s vision for long range and persistent reconnaissance.

“The Gray Eagle ER clearly demonstrated its ability to support the future force,” Alexander says. “We added multiple payloads that enable it to perform a wide range of missions to further support the warfighter in contested operations.”