Military Embedded Systems

MQ-20 drone releases a smaller drone in new test


February 02, 2024

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

SAN DIEGO, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) demonstrated the inflight release of its Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) platform from the MQ-20 Avenger Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) in a test at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah last November, the company announced in a statement.

The A2LE was deployed from an internal weapons bay of the MQ-20. The purpose of the test was to demonstrate the company's ability to "rapidly develop, manufacture, and test a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) in a controlled, low-risk approach," according to the statement.

The airframe of the A2LE was entirely produced using additive manufacturing (AM), designed to withstand the demands of internal carriage and ejection from a jet-powered aircraft, the statement reads.

The company says the platform could support a range of applications, including surveillance, attack missions, suppression of enemy air defenses, and establishing communication networks.

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