General Atomics Wins $134 Million for Production of Block 30 Ground Control Stations for Drones

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:11 AM, December 9, 2017
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General Atomics Wins $134 Million for Production of Block 30 Ground Control Stations for Drones
Advanced Cockpit GCS (Image: General Atomics)

General Atomics has won a $134 million contract for the production of block 30 ground control stations. 

Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2020, the US department of defense said in a statement Friday.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Medium Altitude UAS Division, AFLCMC/WIIK is the contract authority.

This effort will provide for the retrofit of legacy Block 15 Ground Control Station (GCS) to Block 30 GCS, the installation of Block 30 GCS, and procurement of Predator Primary Data Link (PPDL), 2nd Radio ARC-210, and SOC ClearCom Accessory hardware kits. 

GA-ASI's Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station (GCS) is designed for use with Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems such as the Predator and Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper and offers improved situational awareness and reduced pilot workload. Innovations include intuitive interfaces that are designed to make potentially hazardous situations easier to identify and to improve the decision-making process generally.


  • Human-centered display technology
    • Improved synthetic video with 3D graphics and moving maps
    • 270° horizon Field-of-View (FOV) on multiple wide-screen graphical overlays
    • High-definition (HD) video
  • Enhanced Situational Awareness (SA)
    • Fused, multi-source data (Link 16, Blue Force Tracking) into a Common Operational Picture (COP) on a single display
    • Data link integration and collision avoidance
    • Terrain avoidance and threats/special use overlays
  • Easy to switch between automated "point and click" or manual "hands on" flight operations
  • Ergonometric design
    • Touch-screen technology
    • F-35/F-16 inspired Hands on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) mechanization for greater ease of aircraft/sensor control
    • Ergonomic seating for increased comfort and design
    • Increases manning efficiency with intuitive controls and data displays
    • Design validated by U.S. Air Force and anthropometric/ergonomic expert National Institute for Aviation Research
  • Compliance with MIL-STD-1472 and other human factor standards
  • Use of a STANAG 4586 architecture to facilitate interoperability across various types of RPA systems

The Advanced Cockpit GCS may be retrofitted into existing U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Royal Air Force, Italian Air Force, French Air Force, and NASA fixed-site facilities and fielded mobile GCS shelters.

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