The US Army’s Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) Sky Warrior system, a development of the General Atomics R/MQ-1 Predator system, has been approved for low rate initial production (LRIP) and has been awarded US$195m in funding to commence the LRIP process.
LRIP will see two aircraft per month delivered from December this year, while full funding is expected to follow in the next few months for 34 Sky Warrior aircraft, 16 ground control Stations, airborne and ground Tactical Control Data Link (TCDL) equipment, and various spares and support equipment.
Although outwardly similar, the Sky Warrior differs from earlier Predator models in its sensor and communications fit, and its use of a heavy fuel engine which uses diesel fuel common to Army vehicles rather than avgas.
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