First Army I-GNAT ER UAS Achieves 10,000 Flight Hours
Performance of I-GNAT ER Aircraft Attests to Reliability and Durability of Predator Series
AAAA Annual Convention, National Harbor.- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical reconnaissance radars, today announced that a U.S. Army UAS has reached a record 10,000 flight hours on a single aircraft. The milestone was achieved by two different Army I-GNAT® ER aircraft, AI-001 and AI-1005, within days of each other while performing combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The I-GNAT ER/Sky Warrior® Alpha aircraft that we deliver to the U.S. Army offer tremendous support to combat forces operating in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis and continue to boast the highest full-mission capability rates of any operational Army UAS,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “I don’t believe that any other all-electric, composite aircraft can lay claim to this remarkable achievement. This is truly a testament to the reliability and durability, as well as the operational flexibility, of this UAS series.”
Currently flying 2,500 hours a month at some five deployment sites, the U.S. Army’s family of I-GNAT ER/Sky Warrior Alpha UAS was first deployed in March 2004, only six months after contract award. Today the family has grown to more than 15 aircraft and has accumulated over 52,000 flight hours, with 97-percent of those hours spent in combat. In 2006, new additions to the original I-GNAT ER family were named Sky Warrior Alpha and SATCOM capability was incorporated to allow for beyond line-of-sight control. The aircraft have most recently been enhanced with weapons capabilities and can now carry Hellfire missiles.
High-resolution photos of I-GNAT ER/Sky Warrior Alpha UAS are available from GA-ASI’s public relations and communications manager as listed above.
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