General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has unveiled the Mojave Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), the company’s new UAS based on the avionics and flight control systems of MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle-ER but focused on Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities and increased firepower.
Featuring enlarged wings with high-lift devices and a 450-HP turboprop engine, Mojave provides options for forward-basing operations without the need for typical airport runways or infrastructure. It can land and takeoff from unimproved surfaces in austere environments while still retaining advantages in endurance and persistence over manned aircraft. These innovations enable Mojave to perform armed overwatch, attack and armed reconnaissance missions.
“We’re proud to bring these extraordinary capabilities to our Predator line of UAS,” said GA-ASI CEO, Linden Blue. “We are providing the ground force with a long-endurance, armed overwatch UAS that can quickly reload weapons at austere sites, located close to the conflict zone. This revolutionary design, based on 7 million flight hours of UAS experience, increases expeditionary employment options – making Mojave a real game changer.”
A prototype Mojave UAS first flew in summer 2021 and is continuing to demonstrate exceptional short-field performance and other unique qualities.
STOL capability increases the number of employment options available to Mojave, potentially including aircraft carrier-based options, unlocking naval missions or sea-based support for special operations forces.
Mojave’s payload capacity is 3,600 lb. (1,633 kg) and it can carry up to 16 Hellfire or equivalent missiles. It can be equipped with a sensor suite including Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) to support land or maritime missions.