General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. said it has integrated a sophisticated sensor into its Predator C Avenger, a jet-powered aircraft in its Predator line.

The U.S. military sponsored a series of tests with the sensor in January and February at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake in the California desert. The Poway company released details of the tests on June 13.

The sensor, the United Technologies Corp. MS-177 model, is reportedly more capable than the sensors carried by the manned, high-altitude U-2 spy aircraft. The MS-177 is an electo-optical and infrared sensor.

GA-ASI said it plans to begin flight testing of an Improved Avenger in October. The improved aircraft would have a bigger wingspan and be capable of flights as long as 20 hours.

GA-ASI is an affiliate of privately held General Atomics.