General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems, tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced that it was recently honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics with a local award for outstanding aerospace management.
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In the category of Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Management, GA-ASI’s Aircraft Systems Group Director of U.S. Air Force Programs, Mike Cannon, was recognized for the development, production, upgrade, and logistics support of the PredatorÂ® B/ MQ-9 Reaper UAS, Ground Control Stations, and their associated systems. The award is presented to candidates who have made significant contributions to the leadership and management of aerospace companies, organizations, or projects.
“Mike Cannon’s work in spearheading significant upgrades to Reaper, as well as Predator, has provided the war fighter with the necessary tactical advantages to save lives around the world,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI.
Under Cannon’s leadership, GA-ASI has delivered 280 Predators to the U.S. and Italian Air Forces and managed multiple upgrades to the combat-proven aircraft. He has also led his team through the successful development of the first Reaper prototype, and shortly thereafter transitioned it into its current production configuration. With an initial production rate of four per year, Cannon has grown Reaper production to its current annual rate of 48. His group has delivered 120 Predator Bs/MQ-9s to the Air Force, U.S. Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force, and a variety of other customers. He is also responsible for the development of a new Reaper variant which will provide the war fighter with significant new capabilities. Additionally, Cannon is charged with managing a capability upgrade to the company’s GCS line with the introduction of the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS. Currently in development, the Advanced Cockpit will be equipped with numerous new features designed to improve Predator/Reaper operator efficiency and increase situational awareness.