RAYTHEON AND GENERAL ATOMICS TO EVALUATE UAV SYSTEMS FOR GSARS
22 Jul 02. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN – News) and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems are evaluating ways to integrate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control, sensor collection and exploitation capabilities into the Ground Surveillance Airborne Radar System’s (GSARS) platforms and ground stations.
GSARS is the export version of the United Kingdom’s Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR)system.
Leveraging more than 30 years of UAV ground control and intelligence-processing ground station experience, Raytheon will examine ways of integrating its Tactical Control System (TCS) onboard the GSARS aircraft and ground stations for the control of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ family of UAVs.During the study, Raytheon and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will address expanded concepts of operation, flexible communication architectures, and size, weight, and power analysis.
The integration of UAV control within the GSARS architecture would significantly enhance the system’s intelligence, surveillance, targeting, acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities.
Examples of Raytheon’s current advanced remote control technology include the Global Hawk Ground Segment, U-2 Deployable Common Ground Segment, and generic ground control and intelligence processing systems. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems develops and manufactures a wide variety of UAV platforms including the Predator, Predator B, IGNAT, and Prowler II.
Comment: This is an exciting development and comes at a time when General Atomics is gearing itself up to become a major player in the Watchkeeper programme. There is a strong likelihood that the Predator will form a major part of the UK’s strategic UAV requirement and this tie up with Raytheon will offer some exciting opportunities for deploying UAVs and ASTOR in tandem utilising Predator for the pinpointing radar targets detected by ASTOR.