Shadow(R) Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Achieve 750,000 Flight Hours
LAS VEGAS, Aug. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2012 -- AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today that its Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) achieved a landmark 750,000 total flight hours during a U.S. Army mission supporting combat operations in Afghanistan. In fact, the vast majority of Shadow TUAS flight hours, amassed during more than 173,000 missions, have taken place over the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
While Shadow TUAS have been a staple of the Army Aviation arsenal since the early 2000s, and the Marine Corps shortly thereafter, the systems themselves have experienced a continuous cycle of enhancements to reflect changing operational needs and environments. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems currently is engaged in a system-level upgrade to create and deliver a fleet of enhanced Shadow TUAS for its Army and Marine Corps customers.
"This is another tremendous milestone for the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System. It continues to build on its reputation as the workhorse for Army UAS. The important thing to take away from this recent accomplishment is that 90 percent of the hours were flown in combat supporting the warfighter. This achievement was made possible by the hard work and commitment of many dedicated folks. We here at the Ground Maneuver Program Office are looking forward to the next 750,000 hours, and we have no doubt the RQ-7B Shadow will get there," says LTC Scott Anderson, Ground Maneuver Product Manager at the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office.
Dubbed the Shadow Version 2, or Shadow V2, by the Army, the upgraded Shadow TUAS will include an extended wing with hard points for external stores, the all-digital Tactical Common Data Link, and scores of additional capabilities through the brand-new Universal Ground Control Station. While delivering greater performance and reliability for core missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, communications relay, laser target designation and battlefield damage assessment, the Shadow TUAS also can excel in emerging roles such as manned/unmanned teaming.
Additional Shadow TUAS customers include U.S. special operations customers, as well as international allies including Australia, Sweden and Italy.
"We continuously look at new technologies to assess their potential benefits for Shadow system users, and stay close to the voice of the customer on emerging threats and requirements," says Senior Vice President and General Manager Steven Reid of AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems. "With those considerations, and the best practices cumulated from years of in-theater operations, we are delivering a system that continues to anticipate and meet user needs now and well into the future."
Textron Systems Corporation
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 (TXT) 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 .
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changing priorities or reductions in the U.S. Government defense budget, including those related to military operations in foreign countries; changes in worldwide economic or political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates or foreign exchange rates; our ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with the U.S. Government; and the U.S. Government's ability to unilaterally modify or terminate its contracts with us for the U.S. Government's convenience or for our failure to perform, to change applicable procurement and accounting policies, or, under certain circumstances, to withhold payment or suspend or debar us as a contractor eligible to receive future contract awards.
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