Army Sky Warrior Enters Low-rate Production

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced that the Sky Warrior remotely piloted aircraft that it is building for the Army has entered low-rate initial production. Clearing the way for this milestone was the receipt of about half the funds of a $399 million contract for 34 Sky Warriors. “The timing of this contract award is ideal as it allows [the company] to enter into low-rate production on Sky Warrior at the same time that Predator A production is concluding,” said Frank Pace, president of the company’s Aircraft Systems Group. Predator A is the Air Force’s MQ-1. The Air Force is transitioning from it to the more-capable MQ-9 Reaper RPA. It opted not to pursue Sky Warrior with the Army. Sky Warrior is based on a modified MQ-1 airframe with enhancements like the ability to carry four Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, versus two on MQ-1.