Hunt Valley, Maryland — Oct 19, 2010 — AAI, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that the company has completed fee-for-service operations on behalf of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) for its annual Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) On-the-Move (OTM) program. AAI’s experienced operators supported the C4ISR OTM program by executing numerous missions using its Aerosonde Mark 4.7 and the Orbiter UAS, manufactured by Aeronautics Ltd. of Israel, supporting emerging concepts and capabilities demonstrations with the Army.
Over several weeks, the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 and Orbiter UAS performed a variety of mission profiles, including communications relay and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), to support customer evaluation of future force concepts such as soldier radio waveform (SRW) and a company/squad-level quick-reaction ISR force. In one scenario, the customer employed Aerosonde aircraft to link more than 40 separate mounted and dismounted SRW nodes using the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 aircraft’s communication relay capability. Operators also executed dual communications relay missions by flying two Aerosonde aircraft simultaneously, while one of those aircraft also flew with an ISR payload.
The AAI aircraft and operators also achieved additional milestones during the CERDEC C4ISR OTM Event 2010, demonstrating the performance of AAI’s On-the-Move Command and Control capability, which allowed both the Aerosonde and Orbiter aircraft to be controlled by personnel in a moving ground control station. In addition, AAI matured its “hub and spoke” concept, enabling the transfer of airborne aircraft between ground control stations. Both Aerosonde and Orbiter UAS also demonstrated their interoperability with the AAI-designed One System® Remote Video Terminal, currently in service with the Army, through transmission of full-motion video data to the command network. AAI is the exclusive marketing representative for the Orbiter UAS in the United States.
“Our Aerosonde Mark 4.7 and Orbiter UAS offer robust capabilities with small logistics footprints, making them easy to transport, launch and recover, even in austere or shipboard environments,” says Division Vice President, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Stephen Flach of AAI. “We are continuously incorporating new features into our systems, such as On-the-Move Command and Control, to deliver even greater mission flexibility, performance and value to customers like CERDEC.”
As a full-service UAS provider, AAI’s skilled, experienced operators and maintainers also are available to provide customers seamless fee-for-service operations.
“Customers can benefit from fee-for-service UAS support for several reasons,” says Vice President of Logistics & Technical Services Diane Giuliani of AAI. “In this case, our CERDEC customer required UAS services for a pre-determined timeframe to demonstrate specific capabilities. Contractor-owned, contractor-operated UAS also can supplement the ISR power of existing customer systems, or implement those capabilities for new customers quickly. The flexibility our skilled crews provide, coupled with AAI’s range of mature UAS, are a win-win for customers who need fast, reliable UAS support.”