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PHOTO CAPTION: AeroVironment Global Observer during taxi tests at Edwards AFB.

U.S. Gov't Seeking Funds to Extend Aerovironment Global Observer Program

Hybrid-electric unmanned aircraft designed to remain airborne for five to seven days above 55,000ft.

Published: 05-Jan-2011

The AeroVironment Global Observer hybrid-electric unmanned aircraft system could be extended beyond the current $120 million demonstration effort, and become a programme of record within the US government between 2012 and 2014.

The US Special Operations Command is "working" to find more funding for Global Observer, an aircraft designed to remain airborne for five to seven days above 55,000ft (16,800m), chief executive Timothy Conver told analysts in December.

AeroVironment also has revealed options for extending Global Observer beyond the demonstration phase. The military could either buy small quantities of new systems to meet urgent needs, or convert the demonstration aircraft into operational systems, Conver says. "This is a revolutionary aircraft that employs technologies never before used in such a manner," he adds

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