Gray Eagle Drone Flown With New All-Weather Target Tracking Hardware for the U.S. Army

The military drone we now know as the Gray Eagle came to be all the way back in 2009, out of the hands of defense contractor General Atomics. Playing in the active military operations field, meaning it's weaponized and ready to hunt down targets, it has become one of the most important assets of the U.S. Army.
Gray Eagle drone 6 photos
Photo: General Atomics
General Atomics Grey Eagle Extended RangeGeneral Atomics Grey Eagle Extended RangeGeneral Atomics Grey Eagle Extended RangeGeneral Atomics Grey Eagle Extended RangeGeneral Atomics Grey Eagle Extended Range
Despite some setbacks along the way, it constantly evolved since then, and the most recent development concerning it was just announced this week. And it's related to a version of the drone that was introduced in the fall of last year.

The version in question is called Gray Eagle 25M. Its main attribute is the fact it is equipped with tools to help it become Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)-capable. What that means is it can support joint operations across military branches and weapons platforms.

The same kind of tools used on the 25M (not all, but most of them) were deployed earlier in March on a pair of Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) variants of the drone. We're only learning about it, and even if not all of the details of the demonstration are known, we do get a rather good picture of what the drone will be capable of in the future.

In standard guise, the GE-ER is powered by a diesel engine capable of developing 180 horsepower. That's 20 hp more than the standard variant, and it allows the drone to carry a total of 4,200 pounds of cargo. Said cargo can include four Hellfire missiles.

Generally used for operational control at the hands of field commanders, the drone is equipped with a series of communication systems.

The two drones used in the demo were equipped with long-range sensors, not unlike those used on crewed aircraft, but also new and undisclosed tool for navigation. Payloads "tailorable to specific missions" were also tested.

The most important system deployed on the drone is something called the Eagle-Eye Multi-Mode Radar (MMR). It's a system that first came to light in 2022, and it's meant to provide drone operators with "high-resolution, photographic-quality imagery that can be captured through clouds, rain, dust, smoke and fog at multiple times the range of previous radars."

The hardware, which also comprises a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), was specifically designed to detect threats, but also deliver info on said threats' location data, regardless of whether said targets are moving or stationary.

"Eagle-Eye easily detects threats and provides precise location data, which eliminates unknowns for the ground tactical commander on today's dynamic battlefields," said in a statement GA-ASI President David R. Alexander.

At the time of writing General Atomics does not provide any info on when the Eagle-Eye will be deployed for large-scale use.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows various Gray Eagle drones.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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