Ready to Go

The third Predator C Avenger jet-powered remotely piloted aircraft to come off of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ production line in southern California is scheduled to begin flight testing in July, said Frank Pace, president of the company’s Aircraft Systems Group. Assembly of the fourth Avenger is expected to be finished by spring 2014, he told the Daily Report on June 18 in Le Bourget, France, during the 50th Paris Air Show. “With Avenger, we are in very, very limited production. We are making the airplane about once every nine months. We have customers I can’t really talk about,” he said. The company is under contract to deliver one Avenger to the Air Force; that delivery hasn’t occurred yet, said Pace. The Avenger is “fully tested,” he said. “It is ready to go. We can take orders for it. . . . I just can’t talk much about what’s going on with it right now.” There have been no foreign sales of Avenger to date, said Pace. He declined to discuss what weapons have been tested on Avenger.