Press Release

MicroObserver(R) Unattended Ground Sensors Named 2011 "Big 25" Technology by C4ISR Journal

WILMINGTON, Mass., Oct 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that its MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system, which reliably detects and tracks vehicles and personnel for perimeter defense, border security, force protection, persistent surveillance and critical infrastructure protection, has been named to C4ISR Journal's elite group of 2011 "Big 25" intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) products and innovations. A premier defense industry source for news on ISR and networking technologies, C4ISR Journal will honor its 2011 "Big 25" during the 11th annual "C4ISR Journal Conference & Big 25 Awards," to be held October 27-28 in Washington, D.C. At that time, one top technology will be named in each of five award areas, including the "Sensor" category in which MicroObserver is a finalist.

The MicroObserver system is deployed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan for remote surveillance and force protection. It is also deployed in the Middle East as part of the DRS Distant Sentry border security program. DRS stated in an open letter on product performance that, "DRS Technologies, and more importantly, our customers, have been very pleased with the ongoing performance of this next-generation ground sensor system." The letter further attests to MicroObserver's "continuous operation," "very low false alarm rate" and "long mission life."

The MicroObserver system addresses the demanding realities of both tactical and homeland security missions -- harsh terrain, varying climates, rapidly evolving mission requirements, and personnel with little time for training but great need for reliable situational awareness. To ensure long life, the system is designed to conserve power without disrupting surveillance; two variants are available to accommodate both long- and short-term mission requirements.

Advanced detection algorithms and its Maestro M-100 Gateway contribute to the MicroObserver system's low false alarm rate of less than one per week. Using conformal communication and GPS antennas, nodes can be emplaced flush with or below ground for covertness; the system also requires no external cables that would reveal its placement.

Unlike traditional mesh networks, MicroObserver utilizes a hybrid hub-and-spoke architecture with the company's proprietary radio to reliably deliver communications up to 10 kilometers without draining system power unnecessarily.

"Beyond its smart design, MicroObserver UGS also are designed for rapid deployment," says Senior Vice President & General Manager Ellen Lord of Textron Defense Systems. "No more than one day of user training is required. Sensor nodes can be turned on in one step and automatically geo-locate. The MicroObserver network is self-forming so no network planning is required, self-healing so it automatically adapts to changes in the radio frequency environment, and self-configuring so no programming is required. So it provides vast capability with very little user intervention."

Fellow Textron Systems operating unit Overwatch also boasted its own "Big 25" winner in the "Innovations" category. Overwatch's SoldierEyes(TM) mobile applications and services provide critical ISR to users on the tactical edge, and the solution was demonstrated recently with great success at the U.S. Army's Empire Challenge 2011, held at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

About Textron Defense Systems

Textron Defense Systems employs advanced technology and industry-leading expertise to develop and manufacture innovative product solutions including air-and ground-based smart weapons; directed energy weapons; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, systems; and vehicle protection systems. Its distinctive solutions for U.S. and allied militaries, aerospace and homeland security communities provide precision effects, intelligence-gathering capabilities and force protection. Textron Defense Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at http://www.textrondefense.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 http://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 http://www.textron.com.

SOURCE: Textron Inc.

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