An unmanned aircraft system (AES) such as the Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) may one day reach new limits of endurance and new borders. To better understand the capabilities of this impressive AES, a series of tests started late in 2019 has been continued in 2020 to explore the place for this robotic system in multi-domain-operation (MDO) warfare. The company maintains that properly equipped with long-range sensors and air-launched effects (ALE), a GE-ER AES can detect, identify, locate and report (DIRL) targetable data to control stations for use in long-range precision fire (LRPF) systems.
“Gray Eagle ER is a critical tool, along with the Army’s manned platforms, for operations in an MDO environment,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “We’re excited to show the capability Gray Eagle ER provides due to its increased endurance and range, with the addition of high Technology Readiness Level (TLR) long range sensors and ALE.”
The GE-ER under test was equipped with a Lynx Block 30A system, a combination long-range synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI). The AES could detect military targets to a range of 75 km (about 46.5 miles). The Lynx Block 30A system produced precise coordinates with every image, with the capability to coordinate aviation systems or even direct engagement with LRPF systems for rapid response. In addition to GMTI, the Lynx system supports dismount moving target indicator (DMTI) and maritime detection and maritime identification (MDMI) with inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) capabilities. Flights and future demonstrations will be controlled exclusively using GA-ASI scalable command & control (SC2) software running on a laptop computer for a mobile, portable operator interface that is also compliant with modern size, weight, and power (SWaP) battlefield requirements.