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.
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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.