Long-Distance Drone

The Avenger, new jet-powered drone can operate 2,880 kilometres from base

Issue: 3 / 2014Photo(s): By General Atomics

A new jet-powered drone “Avenger” developed from the Predator, can operate over range of 2,880 kilometres from its base. With the maiden flight of the prototype in 2009, the Avenger is now ready for operational deployment. As per its manufacturer General Atomics, the Avenger is designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance surveillance or strike missions, flying up to 800 kmph at a maximum of 50,000 feet and has an endurance of up to 18 hours.

Compared to its first prototype, the Avenger’s fuselage length has been increased by four feet to accommodate larger payloads and more fuel, allowing for extended missions. It can carry up to 3,500 pounds internally and its 66-foot wing span is capable of carrying weapons as large as a 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).

The opportunity to close the gap between the need to act quickly and operating from a further distance with technology isn’t lost on General Atomics. “Avenger provides the right capabilities for the right cost at the right time and is operationally ready today,” said Frank Pace, President of the Aircraft Systems Group at General Atomics. “This aircraft offers unique advantages in terms of performance, cost, timescale and adaptability that are unmatched by any other unmanned aerial system (UAS) in its class.”