Under a new contract from the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Textron Systems will provide continued Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations support for the USS Hershel Woody Williams, designated ESB-4. The company was originally selected to support the ESB-4 in 2018.
The one-year base contract includes two one-year options and two six-month options, for a total potential performance period of four years, valued at up to $18.3 million including all options.
Textron Systems will continue to deploy its Aerosonde UAS to provide maritime operations aboard the ESB-4. The company’s personnel work alongside sailors to provide on-demand Aerosonde UAS operations to support a variety of maritime missions. Aerosonde provides multi-payload performance in a single sortie, while requiring a minimal shipboard footprint and onboard logistics.
Serving multiple US Department of Defense (DoD) customers with contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) UAS services alongside military users, the Aerosonde system has amassed more than 550,000 flight hours with superior availability in some of the world’s most austere and challenging environments. The company’s continuous improvement approach has allowed end users to implement new features, payloads and enhancements as needed to support the mission, while maintaining the highest levels of reliability.
“Our shipboard customers need UAS solutions that can deliver actionable data from multiple mission payloads without sacrificing valuable space on deck,” said Senior Vice President, Air Systems, Wayne Prender. “It’s equally important that we create a strong support ecosystem to keep availability and reliability rates high as operational tempo demands. In continuing to support our ESB-4 customer, we maintain our focus on setting the bar higher and higher in all these areas to keep our sailors informed and out of harm’s way.”