What is the reason for the US Army retiring Northrop Grumman's MQ-5B Hunter UAV and replacing it with General Atomics' MQ-1C Gray Eagle?

The United States Army announced that they have retired their Northrop Grumman MQ-5B Hunter UAV aircraft after the last flight took place at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. This aircraft has been in service since 1996 and has received multiple upgrades including a USD$91.2 million reset back in 2011. It is being replaced by another Northrop Grumman model, the MQ-1C Gray Eagle.

The Q-5 Hunter is the Army’s oldest UAV. This aircraft first saw action in 1996 in Kosovo as the RQ-5A which was designed by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). IAI’s American marketing and development partner Northrop Grumman developed the latest version of the Q-5, the MQ-5B. The MQ-5B aircraft took its first flight in July 2005 and was deployed to the front lines a year later. Just under 30 UAVs of this type are in service and in January of 2011, passed 100,000 hours of flying time.

The replacement aircraft, the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, is an extended range multipurpose unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and is an improved variant of the combat-proven Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. This aircraft performs various missions including reconnaissance, target acquisition, surveillance, command and control, communications relay, signals intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare (EW), attack, improvised explosive device (IED) and battle damage assessment. During its initial seven month training and evaluation period, the aircraft accumulated more than 1,700 hours during 238 flights. As of today, the US Army has received 61 Gray Eagle aircraft and 44 more are on order.

ASAP Aerospace is a leading distributor of Lockheed Martin parts. We are ISO 9001-2008 certified, ASA 100 accredited, and a member of the Aviation Suppliers Association. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production General Atomics Aeronautical Systems parts ranging from display and charging panels and control box assemblies to serial receiver assemblies and more at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


Recent Twitter Posts

Thank You for Visiting ASAP Aerospace!

Before You Go, You Should Check Out Our NSN Parts Catalog! You Can Get A Competitive Quote Within Just 15 Minutes of Submitting Your RFQ.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.