GA-ASI flight tests Predator C Avenger with MS-177 long-range sensor

16 June 2016 (Last Updated June 16th, 2016 18:30)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has successfully completed flight tests for Predator C Avenger with MS-177 long-range sensor.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has successfully completed flight tests for Predator C Avenger with MS-177 long-range sensor.

The Predator C Avenger unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has been designed to provide an expanded quick-response and enhanced combat capabilities for the US Air Force (USAF) and other allied forces.

The MS-177 is an electro-optical / infrared (EO / IR) sensor that supports GA-ASI's effort to equip Avenger with a long-range imaging capability.

"Avenger and MS-177 deliver a game-changing capability that dramatically alters the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) landscape."

Flight tests for the UAS took place between January and February at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California, US.

During the tests, the UAS collected high-resolution imagery of land-based and littoral objects with the MS-177 sensor at altitudes above the 37,000ft mean sea level (MSL).

The sensor is a seven-band, multi-spectral system that can be upgraded to a ten-band system to enhance target detection for maritime applications.

GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said: "Avenger and MS-177 deliver a game-changing capability that dramatically alters the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) landscape.

"A MS-177-equipped Avenger provides a strategic ISR capability at a fraction of the cost of other ISR collecting platforms, offering high-resolution imagery from significant standoff ranges, thereby expanding the situational awareness of the warfighter greatly."

The 13m-long multi-mission, jet-powered UAS is fitted with hybrid electro / mechanical anti-lock brake system.

It can be armed with a variety of combat-proven weaponry including AGM-114 Hellfire surface-to-air anti-tank missiles, 250lb GBU-39 small diameter bomb, 500lb GBU-12 / GBU-49 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, 1,000lb GBU-16 laser-guided bomb and GBU-48 precision-guided bomb.