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GA-ASI And CBP Deploy Second UAS Along Southwest Border

The new Predator B UAS.
by Staff Writers
San Diego CA (SPX) Nov 01, 2006
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine, yesterday unveiled CBP-104, CBP's second Predator B unmanned aircraft system (UAS), at Ft. Huachuca/Muni-Libby Army Air Field (AAF) in Sierra Vista, Ariz.

"This second Predator B aircraft, along with current orders for two additional systems and no doubt more to follow, will not only permit full operations along the southwest border, but will also offer the flexibility to support other border regions as well," said Thomas J. Cassidy Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. "This will provide CBP with a dramatic increase in its existing border domain awareness capability."

Featuring an enhanced Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) camera system and Ku-band satellite equipment, CBP-104 will begin operating from Libby AAF in support of border security operations along the Arizona border with Mexico in November. By early 2007, operation of the aircraft will transfer to CBP's Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) in Riverside, Calif., which will fly the aircraft remotely via satellite communications.

"Our frontline agents deserve proven, effective technology that equips them to secure our borders and to prevent terrorism," said W. Ralph Basham, commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "This unmanned aircraft system provides us with the situational awareness we need to more effectively deny illegal entry to our nation's borders."

Providing situational awareness well beyond the capabilities of manned aircraft, the multi-mission Predator B remains the cost-effective system of choice to support all homeland security missions across the nation's borders and maritime approaches. Predator B is designed to fly in the National Air Space System (NAS) just like manned aircraft and incorporates the redundant avionics and communications necessary to operate with air traffic control and other aircraft. This capability, in conjunction with sophisticated sensors and long-endurance, allows the aircraft to provide persistent operational awareness, making it a tremendous force multiplier for CBP.

Related Links
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Raytheon Announces Revolutionary New 'Cockpit' For Unmanned Aircraft
Falls Church VA (SPX) Nov 01, 2006
Raytheon Company has unveiled it's Universal Control System (UCS) -- a first of its kind unmanned aerial system (UAS) "cockpit" that revolutionizes operator awareness and efficiency, while providing the ability to control multiple unmanned aircraft, reduce potential accidents, improve training, and decrease costs. The announcement was made during today's Shephard UV North America 2006 conference in Tysons Corner, Va.

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