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MQ-1C Hellfires

ER / MP, armed
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Its initial battles were fought within the Pentagon, but the US Army’s high-end UAV has made its transition to the battlefield.

The ER/MP program was part of the US Army’s reinvestment of dollars from the canceled RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program, and directly supports the Army’s Aviation Modernization Plan. The US Air Force saw this Predator derivative as a threat and tried to destroy it, but the program survived the first big “Key West” battle of the 21st century. Now, the MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” is in production as the US Army’s high-end UAV. As CENTCOM’s wars end, however, the Gray Eagle may find that staying in the fleet is as hard as getting there.

This FOCUS article offers a program history, key statistics and budget figures, and ongoing coverage of the program’s contracts and milestones.

Displaying 239 of 19,185 words (about 48 pages)

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  • Comprehensive tracking of contracts and awards to General Atomics, AAI Corporation, L-3 Com, SPART and Thielert
  • Coverage of the fraud investigation and severe financial troubles involving engine supplier Thielert, who produce the heavy-fuel engine
  • Background on the US Army and Air Force power struggle for control of the UAV system, and the progress towards its resolution
  • Insight on increased demand: “As of September 2007, MQ-1 Predator UAVs had reached 300,000 flight hours since inception around 2001, of which 80% were combat flight.”
  • From wingspan to weapons payload, the MQ-1C Sky Warrior, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-1C Sky Warrior and MQ-9 Reaper are detailed
  • 9 photos, and Appendices A-C of additional resources tracking the UAV program

DII readers have access to more facts and the archive of DII articles on the Warrior ER/MP. Subscribe for access to this in-depth collection of news, events and resources.

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