GE-ER's Altitude Enables Longer Strike Range for SGMs
A US Army MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) performed a flight demonstration using a Dynetics GBU-69B Small Glide Munition (SGM) on August 21-22. The SGM is a lightweight munition with increased effective range.
"The GE-ER operates at an altitude that provides an advantage when using stand-off munitions," said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. "The reduced weight of the SGM allows the UAS to carry more munitions per aircraft."
The demonstration was conducted at a military test range in California in collaboration with the US Army and Dynetics using a GBU-69B SGM installed onto a GE-ER. When launched from the GE-ER at maximum altitude, the glide weapon can reach extended ranges, which means it can effectively engage threats in a multi-domain operations environment while staying out the engagement zones of threat weapons.
"The increased standoff range of the SGM enhances Gray Eagle ER's survivability and mission effectiveness when operating in contested airspace," said Alexander.
GE-ER is a long-range variant of the US Army's Gray Eagle UAS. It provides the US Army with increased endurance, more payload capacity to support future mission tasking, and considerable improvements in system reliability and maintainability.