General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has revealed yet another unmanned aerial system (UAS) platform, enhancing its already broad portfolio.
In addition to joining several other systems introduced recently, the new “Evolution” UAS also introduces a new category of unmanned aircraft systems.
The new Evolution line joins GA-ASI’s existing Predator-class and the Mojave-class aircraft, which was unveiled in December last year.
Evolution also follows the unveiling of the Gambit “autonomous collaborative platform”, and the Sparrowhawk and LongShot air-launched drones. In the past three decades, GA-ASI has launched more than 25 UAS variants, beginning with the Gnat in 1992.
Evolution includes the development of GA-ASI’s next-generation UAS solutions designed to meet the needs of the US Air Force’s vision for its future force.
It should be noted that the company’s introduction of the system was followed by a confirmation from the Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall at the Air Force Association’s (AFA) 2022 Warfare Symposium that he US Air Force was looking into developing a drone that would complement the service’s B-21 Raider bomber. The new drone that would presumably feature manned-unmanned teaming technology is expected to leverage efforts from the already running Skyborg and Off Board Sensing Station (OBSS) UAS programs. GA-ASI is participating in both of those programs.
What is also interesting is the fact that the design of the new Evolution UAS resembles that of a stealth bomber.
“We’re continuing to grow and respond to the rapidly changing world,” said GA-ASI president David R. Alexander. “As we celebrate our 30-year anniversary as a company, our new Evolution-series aircraft will merge our unique heritage of advanced and affordable UAS technologies with innovative technologies for the future. We’re looking ahead to new concepts and never-before-seen aircraft that meet the needs of our customers today and tomorrow.”