For all you unmanned combat aerial vehicle fans, the wait is over. Here are some snazzy'photos of the Avenger, i.e., General Atomics' new Predator C, which appears'to take the old standard and make it stealthy and more deadly.
Aviation Week & Space Technology is publishing an exclusive set of photos, the first, and they are also available here in the Defense Showcase, along with many we couldn't fit in the print version. The magazine's April 20th edition has interesting new information on the UCAV, which we previewed for you on AviationWeek.com this week.
While company officials aren’t calling it a stealthy aircraft, they will admit to a reduced signature. The 20-hr.-endurance UAV’s undeniably stealthed-up exterior offers clues about how the aircraft could be employed.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems'chief of UAVs,'retired admiral Tom Cassidy, has'created an empire by building on his own dime'what the Pentagon needs and not what it asks for. The result is a line of relatively inexpensive, armed, high-performance combat UAVs that are used by all the services and intelligence agencies. Now it appears that Cassidy could strike yet again with a stealthy, armed, fast, all-jet UCAV that is cheaper than'known Air Force or Navy UCAV designs.
The aircraft also was designed from its inception so that the wings could be folded at the point where they crank (or change shape at mid-wing) for storage in hangars or for aircraft carrier operations. The UAV also comes with a tailhook that suggests that carrier-related trials are planned. The inner section of the cranked wing is deep, providing structural strength for carrier landings and generous fuel volume while maintaining a dry, folding outer wing.
Read this week's Aviation Week & Space Technology story: Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights.
Aviation Week's Bill Sweetman, editor in chief of Defense Technology International, helped report this story.
Credit: General Atomics"