ER/MP Gray Eagle: Enhanced MQ-1C Predators for the Army
October 25/18: Logistics General Atomics is being awarded with a modification to a previously awarded contract. The modification is priced at $192.6 million and provides for continued performance-based logistics services through April 23, 2019. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is quite similar to the Predator, but it’s a little bit bigger, can carry more weapons, and has an engine that can run on the same “heavy fuel” that fills up the Army’s land vehicles. The drone can fulfil both surveillance and attack roles. The UAVs are now operated by the US Army and by SOCOM’s “Night Stalkers” regiment. Work will be performed at GA’s factory in Poway, California.
Its initial battles were fought within the Pentagon, but the US Army’s high-end UAV has made its transition to the battlefield.
The ER/MP program was part of the US Army’s reinvestment of dollars from the canceled RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program, and directly supports the Army’s Aviation Modernization Plan. The US Air Force saw this Predator derivative as a threat and tried to destroy it, but the program survived the first big “Key West” battle of the 21st century. Now, the MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” is in production as the US Army’s high-end UAV. As CENTCOM’s wars end, however, the Gray Eagle may find that staying in the fleet is as hard as getting there.
This FOCUS article offers a program history, key statistics and budget figures, and ongoing coverage of the program’s contracts and milestones.
The MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and its Band of Brothers
The Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle
Sensors and Add-Ons
The Army’s ER/MP Program
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2014 – 2015
FY 2008 – 2009
FY 2005 – 2007
Appendix A: US Army et. al. vs. USAF Over UAVs
Appendix B: Who Controls the UAVs? Readings & Primers
Background: Gray Eagle UAVs & Related Tech
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