posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 01:49 PM
surge in new business is forcing General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) to slow development a bit for the newest version of the Predator
unmanned aerial vehicle.
Predator C, billed as a more capable version of the MQ-9 Predator B, had been expected to take its first flight by the end of 2005. But that key event
has now been moved to "the beginning" of 2006, according to a GA-ASI spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman attributed the delay to the company's need to focus on other new programs, including its recent wins in the U.S. Army's Extended
Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) UAV competition and the U.S. Homeland Security Department's Arizona border patrol UAV competition.
ERMP was an especially dramatic victory for GA-ASI. When the Army awarded a contract to GA-ASI in August to develop the Warrior UAV, a Predator
derivative, it indicated that it was more than doubling the expected buy, going from 60 UAVs to 132 (DAILY, Aug. 9, Aug. 10).
GA-ASI has kept a tight lid on details about Predator C, except to say it will fly higher and faster and be stealthier than Predator B. Predator B,
which the U.S. Air Force recently began fielding, can fly above 50,000 feet and achieve speeds of more than 220 knots.
Okay I just found this, because I was wondering if they were continuing the predator program. Its pretty cool I guess, things just keep on getting
[edit on 25-10-2005 by blue cell]