October 20, 2006 Aircraft AI-001, the first Army I-GNAT ER unmanned aircraft produced for the U.S. Army, is continuing the illustrious General Atomics Predator family tradition, recently passing 5,000 flight hours. Initially deployed in March 2004, the aircraft has been involved in continuous operations ever since, and achieved this major milestone on its 428th combat mission. Its key attributes of long endurance (over 40 hours), large payload capacity, ease of use, low maintenance and very low cost-per-flight-hour make it one of the most durable and operationally flexible UAS ever built. The I-GNAT is an improved version of the original GNAT-750 began operation in 1989 and is designed to takeoff and land conventionally from any hard surface.
All Army I-GNAT ER UAS are fully contractor-supported, and fielded aircraft operate with satellite communications (SATCOM) control to allow for beyond line-of-sight operation.