General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. received a $199.7 million contract to provide the MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system to the U.S. Army, according to a recent Pentagon announcement.

The Gray Eagle is the Army version of Poway-based General Atomics’ Predator aircraft.

The Army version of the Predator does not require special aircraft fuel. Instead, it uses the “heavy fuel” commonly available on the battlefield, such as diesel fuel. The aircraft also has an automatic takeoff and landing feature.

The Gray Eagle can carry four Hellfire missiles, and it can be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It can stay in the air for up to 25 hours.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded the deal.

— SDBJ Staff Report