General Atomics receives $40 million for Gray Eagle drone services

By Stephen Carlson   |   Dec. 14, 2018 at 11:42 AM
The Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle, which can stay in the air for more than a day, is used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike missions. Photo courtesy of General Atomics

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- General Atomics has been awarded $40 million by the U.S. Army for services on the Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle.

The contract modification, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, falls under Army fiscal operations and maintenance funding as is expected to be completed by June 2019.

The Gray Eagle is a development of the Predator drone designed for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike operations. It can stay in the air for over a day and reach altitudes of over five miles.

It is capable of carrying over one thousand pounds of sensors or weapons. It can mount electro-optical and infrared cameras for target detection and can carry four Hellfire laser-guided missiles.

The Gray Eagle has its own laser designator, which means it can direct its own missiles or provide guidance for weapons launched by other platforms.

Other capabilities include an automatic take-off and landing system that enables it to launch and land without any direct control from ground personnel.

The drone can use any sort of standard aviation fuel, according to General Atomics, reducing it's logistical burden. It is one of the standard tactical drones in use by the U.S. Army.

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