SAN DIEGO – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, today announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has continued to contract the company for Phase 2 of the Gremlins program.
The Gremlins program seeks to develop innovative technologies and systems enabling aircraft to launch volleys of low-cost, reusable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and safely and reliably retrieve them in mid-air. Such systems, or “gremlins,” would be deployed with a mixture of mission payloads capable of generating a variety of effects in a distributed and coordinated manner, providing U.S. forces with improved operational flexibility at a lower cost than is possible with conventional platforms.
“GA-ASI is committed to the development of an unmanned distributed sensing and targeting system to support tomorrow’s warfighter,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “At the same time, we see the potential for using this technology on our own Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper® RPA to offer our customers new mission capabilities.”
GA-ASI was awarded a contract for Phase 1 of the program in March 2016. While Phase 1 was conceptual in nature, Phase 2 aims to mature the design and perform in-flight risk reduction testing for the C-130-based recovery system. Activities will include Program Design Review (PDR) for the aircraft and recovery system, ground testing to validate key technologies, and flight test to demonstrate safety and recovery system performance. The program is expected to culminate in an air launch and recovery demonstration in 2019.
The Gremlin aircraft is one in a line of new Small UAS (SUAS) being developed by GA-ASI. The vehicle is capable of one-hour time-on-station at a range of 300 nmi while carrying a modular 60-pound payload.
Artistic renderings of the company’s Gremlins offering are available to qualified media outlets from the listed GA-ASI media contact.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems business unit is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper and Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Extended Range (ER), Gray Eagle and Gray Eagle ER, Predator C Avenger® and Avenger ER, Predator XP, and SkyGuardianTM and SeaGuardianTM. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Mission Systems business unit designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also focuses on providing integrated sensor payloads and software for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft platforms and develops high energy lasers, electro-optic sensors, and meta-material antennas. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Reaper, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks and SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian are trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.