Textron Systems Corporation announced August 9th 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 UAS operational support to two Independence Class LCS and one Freedom Class LCS 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.