GA-ASI completes aircraft integration of Certifiable Predator B

8 September 2016 (Last Updated September 8th, 2016 18:30)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has completed the aircraft integration of its new Certifiable Predator B (CPB) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has completed the aircraft integration of its new Certifiable Predator B (CPB) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system.

The aircraft integration work has been carried out at the company's facility in Poway, California.

GA-ASI is now preparing the aircraft for developmental testing at its Gray Butte Flight Operations facility near Palmdale, California.

"Initial flight testing on the aircraft will begin at Gray Butte in November this year on completion of ground and taxi tests."

GA-ASI aircraft systems president David R. Alexander said: "The completion of aircraft integration for the CPB aircraft is an important step in our progression toward building a certifiable system.

"CPB is a key product in our effort to introduce RPA into non-segregated civilian airspace and will be the baseline configuration for the UK Protector Programme."

Initial flight testing on the aircraft will begin at Gray Butte in November this year on completion of ground and taxi tests.

It will be carried out under an Experimental Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after which the aircraft will be shipped to the US Army's Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG) facility, Arizona for continued flight testing.

GA-ASI is responsible for the design, development, and production of CPB, a variant of its Predator B RPA that meets Nato's airworthiness requirements.

The company is also developing a maritime version of the aircraft which is equipped with a surface search radar centerline pod called Guardian ER, which provides maritime and coastal surveillance.