General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has conducted a flight test of an Avenger remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) with new technology to boost autonomous sensing capabilities.

During the flight test, the Avenger RPA was equipped with a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod, a multi-function sensor system.

According to the Lockheed Martin website, the sensor system supports collaborative targeting operations in radar-denied environments.

For the test, the Legion Pod was equipped with an infrared search and track (IRST) system that can detect and track air-to-air targets in radar-denied environments.

GA-ASI Strategic Development vice-president JR Reid said: “Our flight demonstration revealed the quick reaction capabilities of the Avenger RPA. From software and hardware architecture implementation to sensor integration, the Avenger is a great platform for delivering critical capabilities.”

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Fixed Wing Sensor Programs director Kenen Nelson said: “The successful integration of Legion Pod on the Avenger RPA is a testament to the flexibility of the Legion Pod system from a fighter aircraft to an unmanned aircraft, which means Legion Pod has proven its capabilities can assist our warfighter and keep them ahead of threats.

“We are excited to see how our IRST21 systems will be integrated on other unmanned platforms.”

GA-ASI now plans to conduct additional follow-on flights this year.

Developed with internal funding, Predator C Avenger is developed to provide the operator with an expanded quick-response armed reconnaissance capability.

Last month, GA-ASI completed the full-scale static (FSS) testing on the MQ-9B RPA wing.