General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has announced that it has provided the US Army with technical support during a military free fall (MFF) high-altitude training exercise.

The training for the US Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (SFG) (Airborne) involved combination drops, with joint precision airdrop system (JPADS) bundles.

During the exercise, the GA-ASI MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft tracked the jumps and offered critical overwatch capabilities.

The aerial system was launched from Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona, and conducted a live video stream of the drill for soldiers and airmen at the Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

This capability enabled remote monitoring of the exercise.

The Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) assessed MQ-9’s overall performance during the exercise, including its capabilities in the areas of mission planning and accuracy.

According to GA-ASI, the uncrewed aircraft met all the expectations for supporting MFF missions. It said that the use of the MQ-9 improves troop protection, situational awareness, and accountability.

GA-ASI Strategic Development for DoD vice-president JR Reid said: “GA-ASI is committed to supporting our nation’s warfighters across the spectrum of military operations.

“The incredible persistence of the MQ-9 provided overwatch of the 7th SFG operators unlike what could be performed by a manned aircraft. This innovative use of the MQ-9 supported the goals of the 7th SFG, and GA-ASI looks forward supporting future operations.”

An affiliate of General Atomics, GA-ASI manufactures remotely piloted aircraft, systems, radars, and other systems.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had tested new capabilities for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) uncrewed aircraft system (UAS).