Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, announced that it has been awarded an initial contract valued at up to $19.5 million by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide unmanned aerial system (UAS) operational support to two Independence Class littoral combat ship and one Freedom Class littoral combat ship variants. This award joins the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB)-4 and ESB-5, as well as two DDG- class ships, bringing the total number of U.S. Navy ships supported by the Aerosonde® UAS system to seven. Textron Systems will deploy its Aerosonde UAS to provide mission overwatch and extended intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services with enhanced mission payloads as seen aboard the ESB-5.
“Contractor-owned/contractor-operated contracts like this support the Navy’s continued investments in uncrewed assets for their ships,” said Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President, Air Systems. “We’ve seen the benefits of our Aerosonde UAS for DDG and ESB- class ships already, and we’re honored to be expanding into this new ship class, allowing us to continue supporting maritime domain awareness and missions while delivering operational and logistical capabilities.”
The Aerosonde system continues to set the standard for mission readiness and ease of use, amassing more than 600,000 flight hours serving multiple U.S. customers and allies. It is designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations with both fixed-wing and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) options. Textron Systems has provided turnkey, UAS operations for customers around the world for more than 10 years.
Textron Systems is a world leader in unmanned air, surface and land products, services and support founded on the combined expertise in our family of brands that includes Textron Systems, Howe & Howe, Lycoming, and ATAC. We harness the unlimited power of teamwork to solve incredible problems across seven specialized domains: air, land, sea, propulsion, weapon systems, electronic systems and test, training & simulation. From product development and manufacturing to training, operations and support, we integrate and offer ingenious and advanced solutions to support defense, aerospace, and other customer missions. 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, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems.