Aerial Warfare

GA-ASI Demonstrates Release of Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) from MQ-20 Avenger UAS

66
×

GA-ASI Demonstrates Release of Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) from MQ-20 Avenger UAS

Share this article
GA-ASI Demonstrates Release of Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) from MQ-20 Avenger UAS
GA-ASI Demonstrates Release of Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) from MQ-20 Avenger UAS

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) successfully demonstrated an inflight release of its Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) platform, releasing an A2LE from the internal weapons bay of a GA-ASI MQ-20 Avenger® Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The demonstration took place on Nov. 28, 2023, over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, capping a manufacturing, structural test, and flight demonstration. GA-ASI’s design and engineering team partnered with Divergent Technologies, Inc. for the A2LE vehicle design and build, matching GA-ASI’s aircraft design expertise with the Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS™) to support rapid, low-cost manufacturing of the demonstration vehicle.

The demonstration vehicle airframe was 100 percent additively manufactured and was designed to meet the captive carriage and ejection loads of the jet-powered aircraft with internal weapons bays. The topology-optimized AM structure was validated via proof and pit ejection testing prior to the flight demonstration. The demonstration highlighted the design efficiencies that can be realized when AM is incorporated early in the design process and throughout the vehicle. It was also a key step in validating the AM process and material properties for incorporation in future systems to be employed by both manned and unmanned platforms.

The demonstration took place over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, where an Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) was released from the Avenger unmanned aerial system (UAS) internal weapons bay. (Photo by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.)
The demonstration took place over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, where an Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) was released from the Avenger unmanned aerial system (UAS) internal weapons bay. (Photo by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.)

“This demonstration was a crucial first step in demonstrating GA-ASI’s ability to rapidly develop, manufacture, and test a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) in a controlled, low-risk approach,” said Mike Atwood, vice president of Advanced Programs at GA-ASI. “A2LE demonstrates the coupling of GA-ASI’s pedigreed aircraft design capabilities with Divergent’s DAPS, paving the way for continued maturation of affordable, modular SUAS platforms that can be tailored to meet warfighter needs at a fraction of the cost and lead time of currently fielded systems.”

GA-ASI’s A2LE platform builds on its extensive experience in developing SUAS. It provides a low-risk, low-cost, tailorable solution that bring affordable mass to the warfighter, with modular payload provisions to meet the requirements of current and future mission objectives. A network of A2LEs could create a persistent, expansive grid for surveillance, attack, enemy air defense suppression, or communication pathways, supporting and elevating capabilities of current and future manned or unmanned platforms. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.

General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger (Predator C)
The General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger (formerly Predator C) is a developmental unmanned combat aerial vehicle built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the U.S. military.(Photo by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *