AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it has delivered an Aerosonde Mark 4.7 Small Unmanned Aircraft System and an Orbiter Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). The systems will support the five-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) into which the organizations recently entered, enabling AAI UAS and CERDEC to work together on various payloads for three classes of UAS — tactical, small and miniature, also known as Groups 3, 2 and 1.
AAI UAS and CERDEC’s Flight Activity, Lakehurst, N.J., completed a technical interchange meeting to review plans for payload integration onto the Aerosonde (Group 2) and Orbiter (Group 1) systems. Many payload varieties are being considered for integration, including signals intelligence, sensor and communications. AAI’s UAS flight crews conducted Aerosonde and Orbiter aircraft check flights prior to their delivery at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
Upon CERDEC Flight Activity’s successful payload integration onto either aircraft, AAI UAS operators will take the lead on a capability demonstration flight. To date, AAI UAS already has integrated more than two dozen payloads onto the Aerosonde UAS, including scientific, meteorological, electronic warfare, signals intelligence and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“Our experienced UAS operators understand both the aircraft and the unique characteristics of the mission based on each payload,” says AAI UAS Vice President, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Stephen Flach. “In research and development exercises like this one, the result is reliable, comprehensive performance data to improve the user’s end product.”
The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 is an expeditionary system featuring a large payload capacity and modular design. It is ideally suited to accommodate a multitude of payload options. The Orbiter Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System uses electric power to deliver a minimal acoustic signature. It is being offered to various military and law enforcement customers through a teaming agreement between AAI and Israel-based Aeronautics Ltd. In addition, AAI’s renowned Shadow® Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, a Group 3-sized aircraft, is available to CERDEC through this CRADA. Together, the three classes of UAS can accommodate a large spectrum of mission profiles.
About AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems has designed, manufactured and fielded combat-proven unmanned aircraft systems for more than 25 years. AAI’s multi-mission capable unmanned aircraft and interoperable command and control technologies provide critical situational awareness and actionable intelligence for users worldwide. Its Australia-based strategic business, Aerosonde Pty Ltd, is a manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft systems. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Advanced Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.
Orbiter is a trademark of Aeronautics Ltd.
Doug Wilburne, 401-457-2288
Sharon Corona, 410-628-3184
David Sylvestre, 401-457-2362
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