Saturday, September 25, 2021

US Army to receive new advanced SATCOM systems for MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has awarded a new satellite advanced communications (SATCOM) system contract to Hughes Network Systems. The SATCOM systems will be incorporated into the US military’s Gray Eagle MQ-1C Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) under the Data Link Modernization (DLM) contract.

The contract covers the delivery of advanced, robust HM400 modems, for both air and ground applications. The modems will be able to integrate with the US Defense Department (DoD) waveform technology.

This will support the unique mission requirements of the US Army.

Modems and upgrades to the UAS platform for the US Army Gray Eagle Extended Range will ensure resilience.

Hughes and Comtech Telecommunications will collaborate on the development and production of ground equipment and on waveform technology.

Gray Eagle UAS is a key part of the US Army’s Modernization Plan for Aviation.

Gray Eagle UAS is equipped with a defective tolerant control system, a triple redundant avionics system, and an ATLS system.

According to GA-ASI, the system meets the persistent recognition, monitoring and target acquisition (RSTA) and attack operational requirements of the Service.

In February 2019, Hughes was awarded a contract to provide GA-ASI’s H MQ-9B SkyGuardian HM400 SATCOM Solution for its Remote pilot (RPA) next-generation aircraft.

Hughes Defense Division vice-president and general manager Rick Lober said: “We are very excited to support GA-ASI with a modern, cost-effective and open systems architecture with the speed, flexibility and resiliency necessary to meet the next generation of mission requirements for the army and other DoD users.

“This contract reinforces the commitment of both General Atomics and Hughes to serving the US Army with enhanced communications capabilities for mission-critical unmanned platforms.”

George Costa
George Costa is a reporter specialized in defence and security systems. He covers international defence and security issues, such as international conflicts, WMD proliferation, and cybersecurity, as well as news reporting on developments in the global defence community.