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Textron Systems’ Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System Takes First Flight from U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG)

April 4, 2022

Textron Systems’ Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System Takes First Flight from U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG)

HUNT VALLEY, MD/ April 4, 2022 – Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today the successful first flight and maritime integration of the Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) on a U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG).  

The integration follows a September 2021 award by the U.S. Navy of a multi-year Aerosonde task order for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services aboard two DDGs. The success of this first flight emphasizes the system’s ability to offer a mature, reliable aircraft to support the types of ship-based missions being performed now, all within a small aviation footprint in a higher sea state environment.

Built with maritime missions in mind, the Aerosonde platform offers multi-mission capability and, with over 550,000 flight hours, proven reliability and performance. Integrated into the ship’s combat systems, the Aerosonde is equipped to deliver day/night full-motion video, wide area surveillance, communications relay, signals intelligence and more. The expeditionary platform is powered by a heavy fuel engine and is capable of point takeoff and landing, minimizing impact to the ship’s operations.

"This flight for Aerosonde represents the expansion of the platform’s real-world maritime mission. Already operating on the expeditionary sea base ship USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4), we are excited to see Unmanned Systems contribute to the Navy’s critical missions across the globe,” says Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President of Air Systems. “The system’s long endurance capabilities make it an ideal platform for maritime ISR operations; search and rescue; and many other missions providing the U.S. Navy with enhanced real-time situational awareness at any time, anywhere.”

Note: NAVAIR Public Release 2022-176 Distribution Statement A - Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.



About Textron Systems

Textron Systems is a world leader in unmanned air, surface and land products, services and support for aerospace and defense customers. Harnessing agility and a broad base of expertise, Textron Systems’ innovative businesses design, manufacture, field and support comprehensive solutions that expand customer capabilities and deliver value. For more information, visit

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, Cessna, Beechcraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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, risks related to U.S. Government contracts as described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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