Tuesday, November 24, 2009

US Army to Conduct Live Hellfire Test From MQ-1C Sky Warrior UAV

Via Janes.com (Nov 23, 2009) -

The US Army's General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C Sky Warrior unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is expected to conduct a live-fire test of a Hellfire air-to-ground missile for the first time during a flight scheduled for 22 November, according to a senior army official.

The Sky Warrior Quick Reaction Capability-2 (QRC-2) aircraft will release the laser-guided missile during a test at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, according to Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Messer, the army's Product Manager for the Medium-Altitude Endurance Product Office at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Sky Warrior QRC-2 UAVs can each carry a total of four Hellfire missiles – two under each wing – but it will likely carry just two missiles and fire only one during the first test, Col Messer said.

The army is starting the Hellfire flight tests with an eye towards the deployment of the first Hellfire-armed QRC-2 Sky Warriors to Iraq or Afghanistan in August 2010. The QRC-2 aircraft package consists of four UAVs and two ground stations.

Lt Col Messer said the army plans to conduct a total of 10 Hellfire missile firings from QRC-2 aircraft during December.


The General Atomics MQ-1C Warrior (also called Sky Warrior by General Atomics) is an Extended-Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development by General Atomics (GA), funded by United States Army. It is an upgrade of the MQ-1 Predator.

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