Thursday, March 4, 2021

U.S. Army orders $66 million worth of latest-generation Shadow drones

Textron Systems Corporation, part of the Textron group, received a $66 million contract from the U.S. Army for the production of the latest-generation Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The U.S. State Department announced this week that Textron was awarded a $66 million contract for 36 Shadow aircraft in the latest Block III configuration. The contract includes ongoing engineering services to continue fielding and supporting the new Block III system configuration.

“We are proud to maintain our strong partnership of more than 20 years with the U.S. Army on the Shadow program,” said Senior Vice President David Phillips of Textron Systems. “The Shadow Block III will support the customer with the enhanced capabilities soldiers need to fulfill today’s and tomorrow’s missions.”

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The Shadow UAV is designed to cover a brigade area of interest for up to seven hours at a range of 50-125 kilometers. It can can determine vital information such as enemy location, size and activity. Additionally, the Shadow can provide other valuable functions that enable an organization’s understanding of the operational environment.

As noted by Textron, the Shadow Block III system builds on the proven success of previous configurations. The upgraded system incorporates design improvements, allowing for increased availability to operate in adverse weather conditions, the latest high-definition day-and-night video payload, increased engine power and reliability with a reduced acoustic signature, enhanced manned-unmanned teaming with the Army’s Apache assets and an advanced communications relay. The Shadow Block III system is ready and able to provide aerial support to our customers, even in the most challenging of environments.

“With 1.2 million flight hours and counting, the Shadow system’s proven track record provides a solid foundation for continued development and use around the world,” the company said.

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Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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