Business

September 25, 2012

GA-ASI aircraft family achieves two million flight hours

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc announced Sept. 24 that its PredatorÆ/Gray EagleÆ-series aircraft family has reached a historic industry milestone: two million flight hours.

The noteworthy achievement occurred on Sept. 9, with more than 150,000 total missions completed and nearly 90-percent of all missions flown in combat.

GA-ASI’s business is the development of transformational systems that deliver paradigm changing results,î said Neal Blue, chairman and CEO, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. ìThis accomplishment has resulted in the highest availability of any manned or unmanned aircraft system in the world and also demonstrates the value of the integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent, wide-area situational awareness.

The identification of the specific aircraft and customer that achieved the milestone is unknown as every second of every day approximately 50 GA-ASI aircraft are airborne worldwide. On Sept. 9, 24 Predators, 15 Predator Bs, six Gray Eagles, and five Sky WarriorÆ Alphas were in operation. Flight hours have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with 500,000 flight hours achieved from 1993 to 2008, one million just two years later in 2010, and one-and-a-half million the following year in 2011. The aircraft family is currently logging more than 45,000 flight hours a month.

The real achievement is what two million representsñtwo million hours of operating a proven technology that saves lives, reduces threats, safeguards borders, and advances science, said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. The ultimate effectiveness of our RPA relies upon the dedication and innovation of our employees, a commitment from our suppliers to deliver superior quality products in a timely manner, and support from our partners to meet our customersí ever-changing requirements.

Predator/Gray Eagle-series aircraft are in constant daily operations supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Italian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, and other customers in the execution of a wide variety of missions:

  • Help protect warfighters by tracking their movement and searching for potential threats, along with engaging hostile enemies when necessary.
  • Assist border agents in curbing the tide of illegal immigrants, sealing the nationís borders from terrorists, stemming the flow of illicit contraband, and performing drug interdiction. Also thwart human trafficking and piracy schemes on the maritime front.
  • Aid first responders in prioritizing government resources most effectively, saving lives, and preventing millions of dollars in property damage following natural disasters.
  • Support scientists in performing Earth science missions, as well as advanced aircraft systems research and technology development.

More than 550 aircraft have been produced since the companyís first aircraft, the GNATÆ 750, took flight in 1993. Today, GA-ASI is building six aircraft and five Ground Control Stations per month, with the capacity to double production if needed.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NG-people2

Northrop Grumman names VP, mission assurance for Electronic Systems sector

Northrop Grumman has appointed Sonal B. Deshpande vice president of mission assurance for the company’s Linthicum-based Electronic Systems sector. In this position, Deshpande is responsible for mission assurance across th...
 
 
sikorsky-raider

Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter achieves successful first flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, announced May 22 the successful first flight of the S-97 Raider™ helicopter, a rigid coaxial rotor prototype designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination...
 
 
NG-people

Northrop Grumman appoints VP, program manager ISR division

Northrop Grumman announced it has appointed Steve Lunny, vice president and program manager for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance division within the company’s Information Systems sector. Lunny will report...
 

 

HELLADS laser completes development

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced May 21 that the High-Energy Liquid Laser completed the U.S. government acceptance test procedure and is now being shipped to the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. At WSMR, the laser will undergo an extensive series of live fire tests against a number of military targets.  GAASI is a leading...
 
 
boeing-transaero

Boeing delivers Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800

Boeing May 22 delivered Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The airplane, sporting a new livery, arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. Boeing May 22 delivered Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The airpla...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing-upgraded French AWACS take flight

Boeing photograph A French AWACS aircraft patrols the skies as part of a routine mission. The French AWACS fleet is in the midst of the Mid-Life Upgrade that modernizes the capabilities on board. Initial operating capability of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>