SAN DIEGO – August 10, 2006 -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft and high resolution surveillance and radar imaging systems, along with its “Team Warrior” partners AAI Corporation and SPARTA, Inc., today announced that it has been awarded the Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of a multi-year contract for the U.S. Army’s Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV Program.
“We are very pleased that the U.S. Army has recognized the high-value solution that Team Warrior brings to the ER/MP Program, validating the strengths of the team’s unique, yet complementary expertise,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “The performance of our combat proven aircraft systems, combined with the dedicated professionalism of the entire Warrior team, were key to our success, and we look forward to growing our long-standing relationship with the Army in support of national security interests.”
The SDD ER/MP contract award follows the successful completion of a three-week Systems Capabilities Demonstration (SCD) held at Fort Huachuca, AZ, in late February/early March in which Team Warrior completed all required flight test objectives in record time, flying a minimum number of hours to meet all demonstration objectives. Fulfillment of the initial contract is expected to conclude in mid-2009 and includes the delivery and test of 17 WarriorTM aircraft from GA-ASI, seven One SystemTM ground stations from AAI, and logistics support from SPARTA.
Designed to provide Division and Corps commanders with long-range, armed unmanned aircraft surveillance and attack capability, the Team Warrior solution utilizes proven U.S. military systems and processes to reduce financial, technical and operational risks to the customer. GA-ASI’s vast design, development, operational and combat experience in unmanned aircraft systems -- such as Predator®, Army IGNAT®-ER and Predator B -- along with AAI’s combat proven Army One System ground control equipment and Sparta’s extensive experience in logistics support services, provides the U.S. Army with a low-risk, high value solution to meet requirements for persistent ISR and tactical strike operations.
Warrior, a derivative of the combat-proven Predator, fully meets the U.S. Army’s requirement for a low-risk developmental solution. The aircraft will provide long-endurance surveillance, communications relay, and weapons delivery missions, with double the weapons capacity of Predator. Featuring a Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE) for increased supportability in the field, Warrior can fly above 25,000 feet on jet or diesel fuel with increased horsepower and significantly improved fuel efficiency. The HFE power plant also reduces maintenance costs, offers increased service life, and greatly simplifies logistics by ensuring a more readily available fuel source.
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