Predator C Avenger can be better defined as a multi-mission, next-generation, jet-powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS). It was developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to serve the US Air Force with enhanced combat and expanded quick-response capabilities.
This UAS is known for its high operational speed and long endurance, which makes it a suitable choice for wide-area and border surveillance, intelligence, precision strike missions and armed reconnaissance targets against threats in asymmetric and conventional warfare.
The first most flight for Predator C Avenger aircraft was made in April 2009 at Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility of GA-ASI in Palmdale. The performance objectives for the second UAS was successfully demonstrated in January 2012. The team is currently working for the production of 3rd and 4th aircraft.
Design and Features:
This highly advanced and powerful combat UAS was designed by following the basic model of Predator Aircraft. It can be transported to other locations in the world via C17/ C5 military aircraft. Also, it ensures a lower radar cross-section that makes it more useful for army operation. This unmanned aerial vehicle has an overall wingspan of 20m with 13m length. The maximum gross take-off weight for this model is 8255Kg; however, the fuel carrying capacity is 3,580 Kg. Furthermore, the internal payload capacity is 1,588 Kg and the total payload capacity goes up to 2,948 kg. Note that this UAS is fixed with a hybrid mechanical/electro anti-lock brake system.
There are six external wing hardpoints on the Avenger that can carry bombs, missiles, and munitions. This aircraft can also accommodate precious munitions up the maximum weight range of 1588 kg. The UAS can be loaded with many combat-proven weaponry such as GBU-48 precision-guided bomb, 1000lb GBU-16 laser-guided bomb, 500lb GBU-12 / GBU-49 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, 250lb GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, AGM-114 Hellfire surface-to-air anti-tank missiles.
Advanced ground control station:
It is possible to operate Predator C Avenger UAS from an Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station. The ergonomic design with Stick flight controls, hands-on Throttle and data displays powered by touch-screen technology. Also, the human-centered display system helps operators to view synthetic videos with moving maps, 3D graphics, and a 120-degree field of view. Also, the advanced cockpit GCS assists in enhanced situational awareness and better mission planning. This aircraft can be assigned to manual as well as automated flight operations.
The General Atomics Avengers is loaded with infrared and retractable electro-optical gimbal sensors that promise high-resolution video and imagery collection. The payloads added to this system include communication relays, SIGINT/ESM, dual-redundant flight controls and triple-redundant avionics.
The UAS also has multi-function, high-performance, all-weather Lynx radar systems for enhanced target detection up to the estimated range of 81km. This UAS operates in multiple modes including ground moving target indicator and synthetic aperture radar. The maximum speed that can be achieved by this aircraft is 499ktas whereas the standard dash speed can be up to 350ktas. It can stay in the air for up to 17 hours.