SAN DIEGO --- The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has increased the ceiling on its contract to support modifications and capability enhancements to its Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance Tactical (MALET) aircraft.
The funding increase from $15 million to $93 million is in response to the significantly expanded payload capacity of the newly fielded MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Gray Eagle ER is designed and manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI).
“We’re helping USSOCOM adjust to the changing threat environment and mission needs,” said David R Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “Gray Eagle ER’s significant increase in endurance, range and capacity to carry internal and external payloads provides USSOCOM and other users with a platform capable of hosting multiple capabilities simultaneously.”
The increased funding ceiling ensures that SOCOM has the ability to rapidly develop, procure and field new capabilities, as well as conduct studies, modifications and test events with their fleet of Gray Eagle ERs.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator RPA series and the Lynx Multi-mode Radar. With nearly 6 million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike.