ER/MP Gray Eagle: Enhanced MQ-1C Predators for the Army
July 1/19: Based Logistics Support Services General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $22 million modification for support services on the Gray Eagle UAV. The deal calls for procurement of performance based logistics support services for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone. The Gray Eagle is a 3,600-pound, 28-foot-long drone with a 56-foot wingspan. It has a range of 2,500 nautical miles and a ceiling of 25,000 feet. Its 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. General Atomics will perform work at General Atomics’ facility in Poway, California with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2020.
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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