|U.S. Air Force Awards Contract for RQ-1 Predators |
U.S. Air Force Awards Contract for RQ-1 Predators
By Cyndi Wegerbauer.
San Diego, California -- March 27, 2001 (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, announced the award of a $39 million contract for seven RQ-1 Predator® aircraft including options for up to seven additional aircraft by the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. Delivery of aircraft under the basic contract is scheduled to begin in September 2002. The total number of Predator aircraft purchased to date is seventy-nine.
Photo Courtesy General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Conceived in 1994, the Predator program began as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) with an award of a contract for ten aircraft. Since its first combat area deployment in 1995, the Predator system has been deployed to a total of seven combat areas in the Balkans and Southwest Asia where real-time video imagery has been acquired and disseminated to users worldwide. Configured with a combination of sensors ranging from electro-optical, infrared cameras to laser target designators and air-to-air missiles, the Predator system has evolved to meet a host of missions for military and commercial customers worldwide. With over 24,000 flight hours, Predator continues to provide essential intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and precision targeting information to support foreign and U.S. interests worldwide.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., based in San Diego, California, manufactures, develops and supports a variety of unmanned aircraft for military and commercial customers worldwide. In addition to the RQ-1 Predator, GA-ASI's family of unmanned aircraft systems includes the flight-proven Predator B, I-GNAT®, ALTUS® and Prowler® II. In an effort to provide militaries with the most technologically advanced unmanned aircraft systems, GA-ASI has developed Predator B, a prop jet-powered solution that is now flying to expand the mission performance and capability of Predator for the twenty-first century.