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GA-ASI unveils new Mojave UAV

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc on 9 December unveiled its Mojave short take-off UAV. The aircraft features enlarged wings with high-lift devices and a 450 hp Rolls-Royce M250 engine. (GA-ASI)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has developed a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Mojave that can operate without typical airport runways or infrastructure, the company announced on 9 December.

The Mojave is based on the avionics and flight control of the company's MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range, but has short take-off and landing (STOL) capability and increased firepower. The Mojave features enlarged wings with high-lift devices and a 450 hp Rolls-Royce M250 engine.

Company spokesman Mark Brinkley said on 9 December that the aircraft has the environmental protection of a Gray Eagle Extended Range to safeguard against rain, electromagnetic interference, and cold weather. The aircraft can take off and land from unimproved surfaces while also retain advantages in endurance and persistence compared with manned aircraft.

Brinkley said the Mojave will have a turbulent airfoil design for dirty, muddy, and rainy conditions. The aircraft will also have high strength, long travel, and foreign object debris (FOD)-protected landing gear for semi-improved field conditions.

Larger, low-pressure tyres will enable the Mojave to be operated on soft surfaces. The aircraft is also designed to have quick assembly and disassembly with minimal ground support equipment.

Brinkley said the Mojave is designed with a strike strut to prevent propeller strikes. The aircraft has a high-wing design to keep lifting and control surfaces away from flying debris such as high brush and rocks. The Mojave's high engine inlet position is designed to prevent debris ingestion.

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