• Credit: Textron Systems)
    Credit: Textron Systems)

Textron Systems has received a contract for up to US$607 million from the US Army to upgrade the Shadow Block II tactical unmanned aircraft system (TUAS).

The company will provide contract logistics support, field services, and engineering support along with the retrofit of the existing ShadowBlock II Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) to the upgraded Block III configuration.

The award follows a Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) of the Block III configuration by the Army in late 2020.  

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the US Army and to bring new capabilities to the Shadow TUAS fleet,” Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President of Textron Systems, said. “We are extremely proud of our people, who work every day alongside our customer to develop, produce, field and sustain this great capability for the Warfighter.”

The work, to be completed in Textron Systems’ Hunt Valley, Md. facility, will modernize the current Shadow RQ-7B Block II and lead product, support and sustainment activities for the fleet. This award will enable the maintenance of the Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System and provides repairs and spares to support critical mission readiness levels for fielded systems. The planned work is scheduled to begin immediately and will take place over a five-year period. 

The Shadow Block III system builds on the proven success of previous configurations incorporating design improvements, allowing for increased operations in adverse weather conditions, the latest high-definition day-and-night video payload, increased engine power and reliability, reduced acoustic signature and an advanced communications relay. 

With 1.25 million flight hours and counting, the Shadow system’s proven track record provides a solid foundation for continued development and use around the world.

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