MSI Ships 600th Flight Control for the Predator UAV

WALLINGFORD, CT, June 6, 2008 – Ultra Electronics MSI announced the shipment of its 600th hand control system for remote operation of the Predator, the military’s highly mission-successful reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft. Ultra MSI, a leader in precision Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions, including hand controls, grips and electronic systems, has been supplying the control to General Atomics – ASI, the manufacturer of the Predator, for over 10 years. The pace of deliveries has increased since the start of military action in the Middle East in 2003.

Ultra MSI flight controls have been used on the Predator since full rate production of the unmanned aircraft began in 1997. Predator is the only reconnaissance system available in the U.S. inventory that can provide near real-time video imagery day or night in all weather conditions via satellite worldwide - without exposing pilots to combat fire. As the first successful unmanned aircraft surveillance program, Predator provides tactical and strategic intelligence to operational commanders worldwide.

Recognizing the value and efficiency of Ultra MSI products, General Atomics utilizes the control as both pilot flight stick and as payload controller. Other features make it a good match with the Predator, including a design that provides Predator pilots with an enhanced ergonomic feel as well as precise, reliable and repeatable operation. Designed to operate without the need for gears or linkages, the control reduces backlash significantly. Its rugged construction allows the product to easily withstand severe environments and constant use.

In 2000, the Department of Defense approved the next generation Predator B aircraft. Powered by a turboprop engine, the Predator B series is designed as a long-endurance, high-altitude unmanned aircraft for use as a multi-mission system by a variety of customers. From reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and weapons delivery to scientific research and other civilian applications, Predator B has the capacity to conduct multiple missions simultaneously due to its large internal and external payload capacity.

As a leading supplier of advanced technology control systems to the unmanned vehicle military market, Ultra MSI offers single and dual axis type hand controls, joysticks, miniature joysticks, trackballs and electronic packages for navigation and payload control. These controls are typically customized for the specific type of application. Ultra MSI can be found on the most demanding and well-known platforms used by the US military in theater today.

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