$94.3M for 36 more MQ-1B PredatorsSep 12, 2007 18:52 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
General Atomics of San Diego, CA won a firm fixed price contract from the USAF for $94.3 million in exchange for 36 Predator MQ-1B Aircraft, Aircraft Spares, RSP kits, Hellfire Missile Kit Installation, IMAs and core tasks. At this time, all funds have been authorized. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base OH issued the contract (FA8620-05-G-3028 0027).
MQ-1A Predators are successors to General Atomics’ I-GNAT platform, and serve with the US Air Force, US Navy, US Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Turkish Army, and the Italian Air Force. The US Army flies the upgraded MC-1C Sky Warrior, while the USAF and British RAF fly the Predator’s successor, the MQ-9 Reaper.
The Predator A fleet recently reached a pair of key milestones. One was the 25,000th’s flight by a Predator A, achieved by P-144 on Aug 8/07 in Iraq. The other was 300,000 flight hours for the fleet, achieved by P-137 on Aug 12/07 while it performed an armed reconnaissance mission in Iraq. That particular aircraft has flown over 145 combat missions in the 18 months it has been deployed, which may explain why 80% of those fleet flight hours have been combat flights. MQ-1As flew over 100,000 flight hours last year alone, and are currently flying some 10,000 hours per month.