ER/MP Gray Eagle: Enhanced MQ-1C Predators for the Army
August 24/18: Support Services The US Army is contracting General Atomics for further engineering services in support of its Gray Eagle UAS. The modification to previously awarded contract has a value of $11 million. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is based on the MQ-1 Predator, but it is bigger, can carry more payload and has an engine that runs on the same kind of fuel that is used to power US Army vehicles. Its expansive mission set includes, but is not limited, to wide-area Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), convoy protection, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection and defeat, close air support, communications relay, and weapons delivery missions. The Gray Eagle, equipped with signal jammers, will likely be one of the Army’s primary electronic warfare platform. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Poway, California and is scheduled for completion by end of September, 2019.
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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