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US Army Gray Eagle Launches ‘Eaglet’ Drone Mid-Air for First Time

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has announced the first flight of its new Eaglet drone that can be launched from a larger unmanned aerial system (UAS).

The company used the US Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS to launch the Eaglet from the air.

According to GA-ASI President David R. Alexander, the maiden flight marks an important milestone for the technology firm as it proves the operational readiness of the unmanned system.

“Eaglet is intended to be a low-cost, survivable UAS with the versatility to be launched from a Gray Eagle, rotary-wing aircraft, or ground vehicles,” he said in a press release.

“It enables extended reach of sensors and increased lethality while providing survivability for manned aircraft.”

With the success of its first flight, GA-ASI is hoping to collaborate with the US Department of Defense to feature the Eaglet drone in other exercises to evaluate its potential.

Eaglet drone
Eaglet drone was launched from an MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS. Photo: General Atomics


The Eaglet drone is one of the newest entries in GA-ASI’s Evolution Series of advanced UAS concepts.

It features more powerful sensors and larger payloads to support multiple military missions.

With the help of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, the Eaglet can be carried to locations thousands of kilometers away.

It can also work alongside other long-range payloads carried by Gray Eagles, helicopters, or other platforms “to support deep sensing in multi-domain operations.”

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