The US is studying how to modify Gray Eagle drones to be transferred to Ukraine – media

The United States is studying how to modify Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft systems to be transferred to Ukraine.

CNN reports this with reference to officials.

It is emphasized that these changes would make the potential of losing any of its sensitive onboard technology less of a danger, and would possibly increase the likelihood of Ukraine receiving them.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked the United States to provide reconnaissance and strike drones.

“There are specific and very technical tweaks and neutering that can be done to these that may make it possible in the nearer term,” a congressional official shared.

MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAV. Photo credits: U.S. Army

However, according to the official, adjustment work on the drone would take time and is a rather complicated process. As of now, the US Army is trying to figure out what could be changed in the MQ-1C drone manufactured by General Atomics.

It is, however, likely that without any changes, the Gray Eagle, which can carry four Hellfire missiles and fly for almost 30 hours, would not be included in the upcoming list of military aid allocated to Ukraine, CNN reports.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Roger Cabiness would not comment specifically on the Gray Eagle. He only noted that the Department of Defense continues to consult with Ukraine on security assistance.

MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone. Photo from open sources

The White House declined to comment, and General Atomics also did not respond to a request from CNN. The transfer of the Gray Eagle in a complete package from the manufacturer in the USA would not be possible yet due to technological security: pricey drones could be captured on the battlefield by the Russians, and the technologies of the General Atomics company could be studied.

Previously, the US media reported that the United States would not hand over long-range MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine. However, another reason for the refusal was cited at that time: the desire to avoid escalation with the Russian Federation. After all, Gray Eagle is quite an effective and powerful weapon.

Members of Congress from both parties have pushed the U.S. President’s Administration to give Ukraine the Gray Eagle drones, which can perform both reconnaissance and combat missions.

In June, the US media, citing their own sources, reported that the United States might supply Ukraine with four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones.


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