A Predator C Avenger in flight over the Southern California desert. Courtesy General Atomics

A long-range, jet-powered version of General Atomics‘ famous Predator drone has successfully completed its first flight over a test range in the Southern California desert.

The San Diego-based company announced Thursday that the flight occurred Oct. 27 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale.

“The first flight of Avenger ER is a significant achievement in the evolution of Predator C’s proven performance and multi-mission capability,” said Linden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. “The increased endurance and high payload capacity will deliver tremendous capability to our customers, who need persistent situational awareness and strike mission affordability.”

With an increased wingspan of 76 feet and 2,200 pounds of additional fuel, Avenger ER extends the legacy Avenger’s endurance from 15 hours to 20 hours.

The aircraft supports a wide array of sensors and weapons, including the 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition.

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