US-based uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) provider General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) provider has announced that the US Army National Guard (ARNG) has received FY2023 Congressional funding for 12 new MQ-1C Gray Eagle 25M (GE-25M) UAVs.

In a 26 April statement, GA-ASI said that the funding came after US Army National Guard states, which make up 45% of the US Army’s combat divisions, requested GE-25Ms to make ARNG divisions multi-domain operations capable and able to team with the newly formed Division Artillery Brigades.

The GE-25M platforms will also be able to support domestic missions such as homeland defence and disaster response, GA-ASI added.

The Gray Eagle UAV

GE-25M is equipped with the new Eagle-Eye multi-mode radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors and can host a range of additional kinetic and non-kinetic payloads.

GA-ASI stated that by equipping ARNG Divisions with organic GE-25Ms, it makes possible the necessary mission planning, targeting, communications, detailed co-ordination, and training needed to employ the systems in combat. GE-25M will allow ARNG Divisions to have divisional ISR for the first time.

To date, only regular US Army Gray Eagle units have been supporting deployments.

The company is among the leading suppliers of military tactical and strategic UAVs for US services and operators around the world, through platforms such as the MQ-9 Reaper or the SkyGuardian, which is due to enter UK service in the coming years.