An exclusive 20min first flight video of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems RQ-1C Sky Warrior unmanned air vehicle has been obtained by Flightglobal.com and can be seen below.
The UAV could be fielded in Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as July next year. General Atomics exclusively provided flightglobal with the video.
Tests by the US Army of the UAV and its ground control stations (GCS) are set to begin next March, followed by the deployment of four Block 0 aircraft and two GCS to Iraq in the July.
Six Block 0 aircraft are being built as part of a rapid deployment effort to get the Sky Warrior into combat quickly. The aircraft will carry the Raytheon sensor package, but no Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system or tactical datalinks.
Block 1 Sky Warriors will carry Raytheon's electro-optical/infrared common sensor payload, as originally planned, but will now also be equipped with a Northrop Grumman SAR/ground moving target indication payload, rather than General Atomics' Lynx system.