Chris Pehrson: General Atomics’ UAV Concept Seeks to Protect Airborne Assets

Jeff Brody
Chris Pehrson

TYSONS CORNER, VA, March 10, 2020 — General Atomics unveiled an unmanned aerial vehicle concept the company envisions will support mid-air refueling operations, ExecutiveBiz reported Wednesday.

FlightGlobal reported Wednesday an artistic rendering of the company's Defender shows the drone releasing a missile while a Boeing-built (NYSE: BA) KC-46 tanker refuels a second Defender behind the other platform.

The report noted that Defender appears to be a newer version of Predator C Avenger, an unmanned combat vehicle that the company has manufactured for the U.S. Air Force to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“The role of this type of platform would be protection of high-value airborne assets, such as the tankers and ‘big wing’ ISR platforms that comprise what the USAF calls the ‘outside force,’” Chris Pehrson, vice president of strategic development at General Atomics' aeronautical systems business.

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