Textron Systems Corporation announced last week the sale of 36 Shadow unmanned aircraft in the latest Block III configuration to the U.S. Army. The total contract award value of $66 million includes ongoing engineering services to continue fielding and supporting the new Block III configuration of the system.
According to the company, the Shadow Block III builds on the proven success of previous configurations. The upgraded system is said to incorporate design improvements that allow 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. Textron says the Block III provides aerial support even in the most challenging of environments. Shadow systems are said to have accumulated 1.2 million flight hours.