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Sky Warrior UAS Completes First Automatic Takeoffs And Landings

The Sky Warrior UAS for the Extended Range/Multi-Purpose UAS Program provides the U.S. Army with a long-endurance, persistent ISR and tactical strike capability featuring a heavy-fuel engine for increased supportability in the field. Credit: GA-ASI.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 09, 2008
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, along with its "Team Sky Warrior" partners AAI Corporation and L-3 Communication Systems-West, have announced the successful first-attempted automatic takeoffs and landings of a Sky Warrior(r) UAS controlled from the AAI-developed Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) One System(r) Ground Control Station (OSGCS).

Three automatic landings were successfully executed at GA-ASI's El Mirage Flight Operations Center in Adelanto, Calif., on August 29, followed by three successful automatic takeoffs on September 26.

GA-ASI's Sky Warrior aircraft was under full line-of-sight command and control through the L-3 Communication Systems-West Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL).

Automatic takeoff and landing utilizing TCDL represents a significant technical advancement in ER/MP UAS Program development and an important step in the maturation of diverse technologies prior to fielding the system, which is expected in July 2009.

"Control of Sky Warrior from the ER/MP One System GCS marks another successful milestone in the fielding of the aircraft system and in meeting the Army's requirement for increased autonomous operation," said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

"GA-ASI's prior ATLS [automatic takeoff and landing system] testing on our own Predator aircraft and GCS paved the way for these first successful takeoffs and landings using the OSGCS and TCDL."

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