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Friday, June 26, 2015

General Atomics Readies Drone for European Skies

MQ-9 ReaperDrone-maker General Atomics is upgrading the bigger version of its Predator-series unmanned aircraft so it can fly across European skies by 2019, an official said.

The San Diego-based company said the enhanced Predator B — known in U.S. Air Force parlance as the MQ-9 Reaper — will be able to soar as high as 50,000 feet for more than 40 hours at a time, thanks to new fuel-economy features such as a 79-foot wingspan and winglets.

What’s more, the unmanned system will include a series of modifications designed to make it compliant with European regulations so governments there can quickly certify it for use in their national airspace, according to Christopher Ames, director of international strategic development for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

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