General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced that it has completed the first in a series of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) demonstrations with its Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Multi-domain operations take place over a combination of land, air or sea, and the Gray Eagle’s configuration was designed to support MDO over land or sea in the Pacific and European theatres. The flight series is intended to show that a GE-ER equipped with long-range sensors and Air Launched Effects (ALE) is able to Detect, Identify, Locate and Report (DILR) targetable data to support Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) systems.
The GE-ER UAS used a Lynx Block 30A Long Range Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) to detect military targets out to a range of 75 km. Imagery produced by the Lynx SAR provides precise coordinates with every image, cueing to aviation assets or enabling direct engagement with LRPF. The Lynx SAR has modes for Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), Dismount Detection on the Dismount Moving Target Indicator (DMTI), Maritime Detection and Maritime Identification with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR).
Other planned demonstrations in the flight series include integration of additional long range and MDO relevant sensors, communications packages, and launching of ALE from the aircraft. The GE-ER will carry multiple ALEs with a variety of abilities, to test whether launching and controlling of ALEs could potentially increase the survivability and effectiveness of current and future manned aviation systems with intelligence, targeting, communications, jammers, decoys and kinetic effects.
Future demonstrations in the series will be controlled exclusively using GA-ASI Scalable Command & Control (SC2) software, which will be hosted on a laptop computer in order to reduce the system’s logistical footprint and support the Army’s vision for interfaces to UAS from across the battlefield without the need for a Ground Control Station shelter or vehicle.
David R. Alexander, president of GA-ASI, commented: “Gray Eagle ER is a critical tool, along with the Army’s manned platforms, for operations in an MDO environment. We’re excited to show the capability Gray Eagle ER provides due to its increased endurance and range, with the addition of high Technology Readiness Level [TLR] long range sensors and ALE.”