General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced the successful flight of a second multi-mission jet-powered Predator® C Avenger® aircraft.
“The first flight of our second Avenger aircraft is a significant achievement as it refines the first prototype design to an operational capability,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. “Avenger provides the right capabilities for the right cost at the right time and is operationally ready today. This aircraft offers unique advantages in terms of performance, cost, timescale, and adaptability that are unmatched by any other UAS in its class.”
The first flight of the second aircraft in the Avenger fleet occurred on January 12 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. Tail 2 met all performance objectives in its first flight. The aircraft features a longer fuselage than the first Avenger aircraft – increased by four feet to accommodate larger payloads and fuel. Avenger can carry up to
3,500 lb internally and its wing hard points are capable of carrying weapons ranging from the 500 lb class to the 2,000 lb class.
Production of a third and fourth UAS in the Avenger series is also underway, with Tail 3 expected to fly by late summer and Tail 4 by early next year.
With avionics based upon the battle-proven Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Avenger is designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance, multi-mission Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions over land or sea. The aircraft has a 44-foot long fuselage, a 66-foot wingspan, is capable of flying at over 400 KTAS, and has an endurance of over 16 hours. Avenger can support a wide array of sensors and weapons loads and has been designed to carry an all-weather GA-ASI Lynx® Multi-mode Radar, an Electro-optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and a 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), delivering an optimal balance of long loiter ISR and precision-strike capability.