Textron Systems Unmanned Systems, a Textron Inc. business, has received a $116.5 million award from the U.S. Army for an additional 24 RQ-7B V2 Shadow® Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) upgrades. Deliveries of the 24 systems are expected to begin in 2018.
The U.S. Department of Defense inventory includes 117 Shadow systems, operated by the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command. This contract furthers the U.S. Army’s Shadow V2 block upgrade program, under which Textron Systems acts as lead system integrator, and aircraft and ground control station original equipment manufacturer.
With nearly one million flight hours, the Shadow V2 delivers proven performance for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, communications relay and laser designation. The Shadow V2 is an all-digital, modern system, optimized for new multi-mission, single-sortie profiles and manned-unmanned teaming. The Shadow V2 also includes a high-bandwidth, encrypted data link that enables the aircraft to carry payloads ranging from high-definition video to secure control for prosecution missions. The Army is currently teaming the Shadow V2 system with its Apache helicopter fleet for scouting missions within its combat aviation brigades. The Shadow TUAS also is utilized by militaries in Australia, Italy and Sweden.
“The Shadow TUAS has been the workhorse for the U.S. Department of Defense for years and has nearly one million flight hours — the most for any system in its class,” says Vice President, TUAS Henry Finneral. “Our Shadow V2 increases the system’s reliability and endurance for various missions, including enhanced target designation, communications relay and battlefield damage assessment. The system delivers performance our customers trust.”
In addition to systems integration and engineering support, Textron Systems partners with the Department of Defense to support the Shadow program with staff augmentation, training, logistics and field service.