ER/MP Gray Eagle: Enhanced MQ-1C Predators for the Army
October 2/2020: Satellite Communications Air Data Terminals General Atomics won a $131.6 million contract modification for Gray Eagle aircraft, satellite communications air data terminals, program management and government-furnished equipment maintenance and repair. MQ-1C Gray Eagle is an extended range / multipurpose (ER/MP) UAS developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the US Army. It performs reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, command and control, communications relay, signals intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare (EW), attack, improvised explosive device (IED) and battle damage assessment missions. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2022.
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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