As with Predator® B, Predator C Avenger® was developed through the foresight and funding of GA-ASI. Its unique design and speed increases its survivability in higher threat environments and provides potential customers with an expanded quick-response armed reconnaissance capability. The first flight of Predator C occurred in April 2009. The extended range (ER) variant increased the wingspan to 76 feet with additional fuel capacity resulting in an endurance increase to over 20 hours. The Avenger ER first flew in October 2016 and completed an expanded flight test program in 2017.
The high-speed, multi-mission Avenger ER is a long-endurance, medium-to-high-altitude Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) system that can perform wide-area surveillance, time-sensitive strike missions over land or sea, and a host of other challenging military or civilian missions. The aircraft has much higher operational and transit speeds than current Predator® B -series aircraft, resulting in quick response and rapid repositioning for improved mission flexibility and survivability.
Avenger is a highly advanced, next-generation RPA. The jet-powered aircraft is equipped with a Pratt and Whitney PW545B turbofan engine capable of producing 4,800 pounds of installed thrust. The engine is designed for greater fuel economy and features class-leading fuel consumption components. Avenger can operate at speeds up to 400 KTAS, a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet, and over 20 hours of endurance. Its significant wing hardpoint payload mounting capacity enables it to carry multiple sensors, while its internal weapons bay can house 3,000 pounds of precision munitions or larger sensor payloads.
The Avenger ER employs the same materials and avionics as Predator B and is likewise controlled from and fully interoperable with GA-ASI Ground Control Stations (GCS) used for operating Predator-series aircraft. Avenger's low cost and advanced capabilities make it the optimum choice for employment in "swarm" tactics where affordable quantities count in a successful outcome.