General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) is upgrading the EagleEye radar system, incorporating an AESA antenna and new software to enhance its capabilities.  

This development is set to improve the range and functionality of the EagleEye multi-mode radar system, which could be considered as an option for the Gray Eagle 25M (GE-25M) assembly, once ready. 

GE 25M is an uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) being developed for the US army.  

GA-ASI said the upgrade is designed as a “drop-in” hardware enhancement for the existing EagleEye radar.  

The AESA antenna is a significant advancement over traditional mechanically steered dish antennas, offering a solid-state, all-electronic emitter that enhances system performance, repair-ability and reliability.   

In addition, the company is focusing on improving target detection range by incorporating AI/machine learning into the EagleEye development.  

A working lab prototype of the new AESA component is expected to be ready by the end of the current year. 

Meanwhile, the subsequent flight tests are expected to take place in 2025, followed by other operational demonstrations on the GE 25M. 

GA-ASI Agile Mission Systems vice-president Jeff Hettick said: “The increased range and optimised multi-mode performance of radar are perfectly tailored to provide deep sensing capability in multi-domain operations (MDO).  

“That will allow the aircraft to operate well outside Weapons Effects Zone of most threat systems, adding a layer of survivability supporting stand-off survivability with stand-in effects of long-range sensors. This is a key component of Gray Eagle 25M UAS being developed for US Army.” 

EagleEye, leveraging synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, allows operators to obtain detailed imagery through obstructive conditions, enhancing visual sensors.  

The radar system also introduces Video SAR, a radar-based full motion video capability for live tracking of moving targets, a first for the Gray Eagle platform. 

The radar’s capabilities include moving target indication, strip mapping, change detection, and providing precise data to military analysts and commanders.  

With its maritime wide area search mode, EagleEye also supports the MDO mission set of the US Army, aiding US Indo-Pacific Command and other regions in maritime reconnaissance and target acquisition. 

In January, GA-ASI performed the inaugural flight of the GE-25M UAS at its flight facility in El Mirage, California, US.