General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has officially introduced a new uncrewed aircraft system (UAS), named Mojave.
The UAS has been developed by the company using internal investment funds and is designed to operate in austere conditions.
The aircraft features short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities and increased firepower than other existing military drones, claimed the company.
The system is suitable for forward-basing operations as it does not need airport runways/infrastructure.
The new platform is capable of landing and taking off from unimproved surfaces and can also retain many endurance and persistence advantages over crewed aircraft.
Mojave has been built based on the avionics and flight control systems of MQ-9 Reaper UAV and MQ-1C Gray Eagle-ER UAV.
It has enlarged wings with high-lift devices, as well as a 450HP turboprop engine. The UAS’s payload capacity is around 3,600lb and it can carry up to 16 Hellfire missiles.
The company conducted the first flight test of a prototype aircraft this summer.
GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: “We’re proud to bring these extraordinary capabilities to our Predator line of UAS.
“We are providing the ground force with a long-endurance, armed overwatch UAS that can quickly reload weapons at austere sites, located close to the conflict zone.
“This revolutionary design, based on seven million flight hours of UAS experience, increases expeditionary employment options, making Mojave a real game changer.”