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Frost & Sullivan Recognizes GA-ASI as the Outstanding Provider of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Tactical Reconnaissance Radars for the U.S. Armed Forces

January 20, 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the U.S. unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) market, Frost & Sullivan presents General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) with the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Company of the Year for its exceptional display of leadership and innovation. When GA-ASI’s Predator UAS took its maiden flight in 1994, it started a revolution that changed the way wars will be fought for years to come. Today the series has logged over 600,000 flight hours with more than 85-percent of those hours flown in combat. While there are many UAS providers and subsystems suppliers, GA-ASI provides among the most predominant and effective unmanned aircraft currently in-theatre.

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“Predator’s extensive intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and combat capabilities, coupled with its long endurance – 40-plus hours for the MQ-1 and 30-plus hours for the Predator B – provide persistent situational awareness and make these unmanned systems attractive alternatives to their manned counterparts,” says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Lindsay Voss. “Add to this that medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS are procured and operated at a fraction of the cost of manned ISR and fighter aircraft and it is easy to see why the DoD has made UAS acquisition a key priority.”

As of September 2008, GA-ASI has produced more than 300 Predator-series aircraft including the venerable Predator A, its larger cousin Predator B, also known by the U.S. Air Force as MQ-9 Reaper, and the Army’s Sky Warrior based on the Predator and I-GNAT ER platforms.

GA-ASI is more than just an unmanned aircraft system supplier. Unlike competitors who often focus solely on the aircraft with little regard given to the other systems that are imperative to the platform’s capabilities, GA-ASI focuses on the complete system. The company not only designs, manufactures and sells UASs, but also manufactures ground control stations (GCSs), Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) and sensor systems, and provides field operations support for customer aircraft.

Ground control stations are essential components of the system, and GA-ASI offers a whole range of stations – Standard GCS, Multi-Aircraft Control (MAC) GCS, High Mobility Ground Control Station (HMGCS), Portable Ground Control Station (PGCS), Multi-Function Workstation (MFW), Remote Video Receiver (RVT), and Rover. GA-ASI has also developed the Advanced Cockpit GCS which has controlled Predator-series aircraft in flight.

The importance of UAS operation is to provide real-time, all-weather imaging and surveillance to the war fighter day or night, which is possible using GA-ASI’s Lynx radar systems. The Lynx SAR/GMTI is deployed on both manned and unmanned aircraft including the MQ-9 Reaper, Sky Warrior Alpha, and King Air 350. It has also been flown and tested on the EH-60 Black Hawk and RQ-8A Fire Scout, In July 2008, GA-ASI demonstrated its Lynx II radar at the U.S. Yuma Army Proving Grounds, where the system exceeded requirements for the service’s System Development and Demonstration (SDD) radar program.

“The demand for UAS capabilities is far from peaking,” stresses Voss. “With military commanders requesting increased procurement of MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft, and soldiers wanting the real-time streaming video and Lynx SAR images that these unmanned aircraft provide, GA-ASI continues to lead the UAS revolution, providing systems that are in ever increasing demand.”

Finally, there are the support services for customers – training, technical data services, field service support at multiple locations and depot level repair – where GA-ASI again excels. With the increased deployment of unmanned aircraft, the demand for trained and certified operators has increased. GA-ASI ensures that its aircraft are flown by highly skilled pilots, trained through both classroom instruction and flight simulation.

For these cumulative achievements in leadership and innovation, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present GA-ASI with the 2008 Company of the Year Award in the U.S. unmanned aircraft systems market.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated unparalleled excellence within its industry. The award recognizes outstanding management and consistent growth along with high-quality products and/or services and positive social and economic impact on local and national communities. The recipient’s customer service offerings and performance are expected to be of very high caliber and it should have proven expertise in taking advantage of market changes by capturing and solidifying market presence, or through execution of innovative strategies within the existing competitive landscape.

Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, provides comprehensive unmanned aircraft and radar solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator(R) A, Predator B, and Sky Warrior(R), as well as GCS systems and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx(R) SAR/GMTI radar into both manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as the highly sophisticated CLAW(R) sensor control and image analysis software, and integrates sensor and communications equipment into manned ISR aircraft. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO’s Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 31 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com.

    Contact:
    Jake Wengroff
    210.247.3806
    jake.wengroff@frost.com

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