GA-ASI’s Avenger ER Receives FAA Experimental Certificates – Drones Information

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An aerial view of General Atomics P46 Predator ‘C’, “Avenger” over the high deserts of Southern California. The latest generation Predator is a remote controlled jet propulsion (RPV) vehicle that is almost twice the size of its predecessor. The Stealthy airframe features an internal gun bay, retractable gearbox, mixed wing design, top-mounted inlet, and shielded exhaust. She can fly at an altitude of 50,000 feet and perform multiple tasks from reconnaissance to attack roles.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of remote piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission system solutions, announced today that its proprietary Avenger ER has reached a milestone it received a from Experimental Certificate (EC) issued by the FAA, which enables the Avenger “Extended Range” to carry out advanced operations in the US National Airspace System.

“GA-ASI has been working closely with the FAA since 2005 to validate the specific airworthiness certificate for RPAs and promote their integration into the national airspace system,” said Pete Latta, senior director of rapid action programs at GA-ASI. “This EC will also help GA-ASI deploy the latest configuration of the Avenger ER for customer payload testing and business investments in advanced UAS control technologies.”

This is the second Avenger ER to receive an FAA EC. The first Avenger GA-ASI produced, owned and operated by the company, received an EC in 2016.

With avionics based on the battle-tested Predator B / MQ-9 Reaper®, the jet-propelled Avenger is designed for high-speed and long-range missions over land or sea. The aircraft has a 44-foot fuselage, a 76-foot wingspan, a payload of more than 4,000 pounds, can fly at over 400 KTAS, and has a lifespan of more than 20 hours. Avenger ER can support a variety of sensors and weapon loads and is designed for the all-weather GA-ASI Lynx® multi-mode radar, an electro-optic / infrared sensor (EO / IR), an infrared search and tracking system (IRST) and a 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Ammunition (JDAM), which offers an optimal balance between intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as precision strike capability for long strollers.

GA-ASI plans to begin flight tests with the Avenger ER for several contractually agreed and in-house research and development (IRAD) projects. The increased wingspan of 76 feet extends the Avenger ER’s already impressive endurance to over 20 hours.

In related news, GA-ASI also announced that its fleet of Avenger aircraft, involved in a number of advanced test or research projects, has passed the 30,000 flight hour milestone in February 2021. A project the Avengers are involved in is supporting the U.S. Air Force’s Skyborg Vanguard program, which pushes the boundaries of combining autonomous systems with human-crewed platforms.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a subsidiary of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remote-controlled aircraft systems (RPA), radars, and electro-optical and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® multi-mode radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides a durable, mission-capable aircraft with built-in sensor and data link systems necessary for sustained flight that enables situational awareness and quick strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and software for sensor control / image analysis, offers training and support for pilots and develops metamaterial antennas. Further information can be found at www.ga-asi.com.

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