General Atomics Unveils New ‘Mojave’ Drone with 16 Hellfire missiles
The original idea behind mojave, officially disclosed today about a month after breaking defense, first reported on it, was to build a drone that special operators could take into austere conditions that had a larger payload than the companys mq 1c. Great eagle, used by the army said dave alexander president of general atomics, aeronautics business, but theres, no clear military program of record where the brand new drone fits and so far u.s special operations command has shown little interest in unmanned aircraft for its armed overwatch requirement to Replace its, u 28 draco fleet, but that doesnt mean general atomics has given up on getting the mojave involved, especially in the special ops mission set, were still pushing it. I think its a mistake not to include an unmanned aspect to that program. Alexander said during a roundtable with reporters, adding that the company hopes to look for other opportunities his summer hobby to special operators. Several other international customers have also expressed interest alexander said, but he declined to specify which countries are discussing the product with general atomics breaking defense. Previously reported the first flight of a mojave prototype this summer at the companys desert horizon test grounds in the mojave desert. Since then, general atomics said it has been expanding. The aircrafts flight envelope now were deploying the leading edge slats, the flaps checking out how slow we can approach you know were touching down at 40 to 45 knots. Now alexander said it doesnt. Even look like it should be flying its going so slow.
One major selling point of the new aircraft is its ability to take off and land from selling improved airfields at short distances about 400 feet when equipped with an isr package and about 1 000 feet when taking off with a full complement of 16 hellfire missiles. The aircraft has an endurance of up to about 25 hours, but flying with heavy weapons and sensors decreases its staying power according to the company mojaves designed cribs from the general atomics other products, specifically the avionics and flight control systems of the mq 9 reaper and the Extended enqueue one great eagle, the company said in a news release visually. It also looks a lot like those two aircraft. It has a short fuselage, like the great eagle alexander, remarked, that the outside mould line of the mojave air vehicle was built on great eagle, tooling, and a similar back end to the reapers upward v tail Music. However, it has two inlets for the aircrafts: 450 horsepower. Turboprop engine and oil cooler, as well as larger thicker wings. That look more like what you would see on an air tractor crop duster alexander, said: mojave can carry up to 3 600 pounds and has 16 hardpoints for hellfire missiles four times as many as is typically carried by the reaper. It can also be equipped with payloads such as electro optical infrared, sensors, a synthetic aperture radar, ground, moving target indicator package or a signals, intelligence suite. The company stated in the release.
For now there are no plans for mojave to participate in any of the armys major field exercises like project convergence or edge alexander said, but despite not having a clear path forward to get mojave under contract. Alexander said he is very confident the aircraft will find a buyer.