Shadow(R) Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Soar to 600,000 Flight Hours
Enhancements and Award-Winning Logistics Enable Systems to Achieve 100,000 Flight Hours Three Years Running
HUNT VALLEY, Md., Apr 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- 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) have achieved in excess of 600,000 total flight hours. Approximately 90 percent of these hours were amassed in support of combat operations at locations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, fueling an average of more than 100,000 combat flight hours per year during each of the last three years.
Key to the success of Shadow TUAS is continuous operational readiness, which AAI supports through a comprehensive performance based logistics (PBL) program. In fact, the Shadow TUAS program recently received the Best PBL Implementation Award at the seventh-annual Defense Logistics Awards ceremony, and also earned the 2010 Gerald R. Beck System Level PBL Award presented by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Together with the U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems
"It is a great privilege to work so closely with our Shadow TUAS customers," says Division Vice President of TUAS Programs Vance King. "Our field service representatives are deployed with system users and work alongside them to provide maintenance and repair services, along with system performance upgrades and enhancements. That partnership has helped us stay attuned to dynamic user requirements, so we can evaluate and implement next-generation technologies to make their
During 2011, AAI will continue deployment of its innovative laser designation capability, as well as the new extended wing enhancement introduced in 2010. The extended wing provides an additional six feet of wingspan, increasing the size of the aircraft's fuel cell and enhancing mission endurance to a total of nine hours. AAI also is testing a new, fuel-injected engine to further improve aircraft performance and reliability.
In addition, AAI is exploring several communications-related system enhancements. Among them is a Joint Tactical Radio System-compliant communications relay capability to create a Shadow-based aerial tier to the battlefield network. AAI also is supporting the fielding of a new Shadow system configuration incorporating the Tactical Common Data Link for even greater bandwidth,
"Our team excels at identifying and integrating innovative new performance capabilities onto Shadow TUAS," says King. "Rapid deployment and robust technologies are critical to our customers' mission success, and AAI delivers solutions to those requirements every day."
AAI Corporation and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design, produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies; high-fidelity training and simulation systems; automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment; armament systems; and logistical, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems Corporation has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. 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 services, Textron Systems includes AAI Corporation, Lycoming Engines, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Textron Systems Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. 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.
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, the following:
- Changing priorities or reductions in the U.S. Government defense budget, including those related to ongoing military operations in foreign countries;
- Performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors and business partners; and
- The efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products and unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs.
SOURCE: Textron Inc.
Doug Wilburne, 401-457-2288
Textron Systems Corporation
Sharon Corona, 410-628-3184
Karen Gordon Quintal, 401-457-2362