Hunt Valley, Maryland — February 24, 2009 — AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it has completed a successful flight demonstration of the Orbiter™ unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. The exercise demonstrated the expeditionary capabilities of this small electric UAS. In fact, the entire system was contained in three soldier-transportable packs. The system was set up and launched in approximately 10 minutes by non-AAI participants in the exercise, who also were able to easily navigate the aircraft and operate its payload.
AAI announced in September 2008 that it had teamed with Yavne, Israel-based Aeronautics Ltd., designer of the Orbiter miniature UAS, to market the product. Aeronautics specializes in comprehensive defense solutions and the development, manufacture, and operation of unmanned platforms.
“AAI and Aeronautics are both committed to developing robust and capable unmanned aircraft,” explains Vice President of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Steven Reid of AAI. “The Orbiter aircraft complements our portfolio of UAS. Its ease-of-use, reliability and portability, with the added benefit of quiet electric operation, make it an exciting addition to our family of interoperable unmanned aircraft systems.”
The company’s portfolio of small UAS also includes its line of Aerosonde® aircraft, known for high endurance and mission flexibility; as well as the Honeywell International T-Hawk™ (formerly known as the Micro Air Vehicle), for which AAI builds the combat-proven airframe. In addition to its growing family of small UAS, AAI is known for its world-class Shadow tactical UAS, currently fielded with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.