General Atomics has embarked on a project to incorporate automation-based disruptive technology into the Reaper unmanned aircraft system as the company aims to increase the aircraft’s performance, National Defense Magazine reported Friday.
Darren Moe, senior director of automation and UX mission systems at General Atomics, told the publication the modernization effort covers flight, ground and intelligence components of the Reaper platform.
Moe added the company developed an expeditionary command-and-control technology, or XC2, composed of a laptop, a satellite link and a maintainer.
The U.S. Air Force looks to retire the first blocks of its MQ-1 Predator systems and replace the units with the updated MQ-9 platform.
Chris Pehrson, vice president of strategic development at General Atomics, said the old drones will not be given to foreign military customers or other agencies for surplus equipment use.