GECO Inc. in Mesa flew its unmanned aircraft using the U.S. Army’s fourth generation Tactical Open Government-Owned Architecture (TOGA) handheld ground control station, marking an important and much anticipated milestone.
After contract award notification late last year, GECO developed the hand controller that will allow operators to control any small tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) with a single, universal device.
“We have a very talented and dedicated team that encompasses design, development, fabrication and final assembly — and we are here today because of them” said Mark Ketchum, program manager for TOGA.
Flight testing will continue in Mesa, where GECO hopes to compete for 5,000 or more production units.
“We are proud to support defense programs that represent the future of aerospace,” said GECO President Jennifer Graves. “Development of universal hand controllers for military operators is a strategic priority for our customer, and applying our expertise to advance those technologies in an affordable manner is GECO’s main focus.”
Graves said the GECO team is excited about the role they will play in the development of unmanned and autonomous systems, one of the aerospace industry’s most talked about markets. She welcomes the opportunity to showcase the unique hardware and software design capabilities that GECO brings to any program or project.