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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems honoured by the AIAA


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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc
: 30 June, 2009  (Company News)
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and surveillance systems, today announced that it has recently been honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with local awards for outstanding aerospace engineering and outstanding aerospace management.
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“GA-ASI is revolutionizing aviation by creating new missions for unmanned aircraft systems that reach beyond those of manned aircraft,” said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president, Aircraft Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. “The company has significantly advanced the art of Aerospace engineering through technical and managerial innovations, resulting in exceptional accomplishments while supporting U.S. forces in combat, promoting homeland defense, and expanding the UAS market worldwide.”

In the category of Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Engineering, Dave Alexander, vice president of engineering for GA-ASI’s Aircraft Systems Group, was honored for his accomplishments advancing the Predator® UAS with improved design, engines, controls, and weapons, and the role these systems have played in supporting troops in the field.

The award is presented to candidates who have made significant technical contributions. Mr. Alexander’s Aerospace engineering achievements have figured prominently in the advancement of UAS during his 13 years with GA-ASI, where his responsibilities have grown to encompass all disciplines of engineering, including both production and pre-production requirements, as well as leadership of a top-notch engineering team of nearly 750 employees.

Among his accomplishments, he has led all five Block upgrades on Predator, spearheaded innovative aircraft engineering design for nine different aircraft variants, and initiated four different weaponization programs on Predator. Mr. Alexander’s innovations have dramatically improved UAS capabilities, redefined their employment, helped spark exponential demand, and more importantly, provided essential support to U.S. and coalition forces in the Global War on Terror.

In the category of Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Management, GA-ASI’s Aircraft Systems Group Director of USAF Predator Programs, J. Chris Seat, was recognized for his successful direction of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Predator Programs at GA-ASI. The award is presented to candidates who have made significant contributions to the leadership and management of aerospace companies, organizations, or projects.

Responsible for directing all production and development activities for the company’s USAF programs – which have grown to a fleet of more than 240 UAS, along with associated systems – Mr. Seat’s impressive efforts have contributed to GA-ASI’s recognition as the world’s premier UAS supplier. Among his accomplishments, he has successfully accelerated both Predator and Reaper UAS programs to meet customer needs, with deliveries for both aircraft lines made on or ahead of the contracted schedule in order to meet customer demands for Predator surge operations in the Middle East.

Mr. Seat’s quality leadership and superb program management have been key contributors to the continued growth, development, and combat success of Predator and Reaper UAS for the USAF, along with enabling these aircraft to lead the Predator UAS family in achieving over 700,000 flight hours across five continents.
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