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.
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.