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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

03 May 2016

Xponential 2016: Textron Systems to Upgrade Advanced US Army RQ-7B V2 SHADOW UAS

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems , a Textron business, has received a $116.5 million award from the US 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.

With nearly one million flight hours, the SHADOW V2 delivers proven performance for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), communications relay and laser designation. The SHADOW V2 is an all-digital, modern system, optimised 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. (Photo: Textron)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) inventory includes 117 SHADOW systems, operated by the US Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command. This contract furthers the US Army’s SHADOW V2 block upgrade programme, under which Textron Systems acts as lead system integrator, and aircraft and ground control station original equipment manufacturer.

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 utilised by militaries in Australia, Italy and Sweden.

The SHADOW TUAS has been the workhorse for the US DoD for years and has nearly one million flight hours — the most for any system in its class,” Vice President, TUAS Henry Finneral, told MT. “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.