Army takes another step in Warrior UAV development

SAN DIEGO, 9 March 2006. Systems designers at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego are starting the system development and demonstration phase of the Warrior Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ERMP) unmanned aerial vehicle.

Mar 9th, 2006

SAN DIEGO, 9 March 2006. Systems designers at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego are starting the system development and demonstration phase of the Warrior Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ERMP) unmanned aerial vehicle.

The ERMP Warrior unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will have the longest range of any UAV system in the Army, and its diesel-powered engine will eliminate the need for a special fuel on the battlefield.

Warrior will have several weapons and can loiter over enemy territories for as long as 36 hours at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet, and will handle reconnaissance, communications relay, and attack. Warrior's network connectivity will reduce the sensor-to-shooter time, and will have automatic takeoff and landing system and control via satellite communication and the Tactical Common Data Link.

General Atomics won a $67 million contract increment March 3 for system development and demonstration phase of Warrior development. Awarding the contract is the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. The contract number is W58RGZ-05-C-0069. General Atomics won the original Warrior development contract last August.

The new UAV directly supports the Army's Aviation Modernization Plan, and ruses technologies from its predecessor, the Predator UAV. Army officials say they plan to buy 11 Warrior systems, each with 12 UAVs, five ground-control stations, and ground data terminals.

The system's synthetic aperture radar/moving target indicator [SAR/MTI] will detect stationary and moving targets to enhance situational awareness in bad weather, dust, and smoke.

The Warrior eventually is to replace the Hunter UAV, which the Army stopped buying in 1996. The Warrior's system development and demonstration is expected to last about 48 months. Initial operational capability is expected in 2009.

General Atomics will do the work on the latest contract increment in San Diego (43 percent), Adelanto, Calif. (14 percent), Palmdale, Calif. (8 percent), Salt Lake City (18 percent), Hunt Valley, Md. (14 percent), and Huntsville, Ala. (3 percent), and is to be completed by 31 Aug. 2009.

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