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Textron’s AAI and U.S. Army Successfully Conduct Live-Fire Testing of Shadow® Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Laser Designation Capability


Hunt Valley, MD . - AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that the U.S. Army has successfully completed live-fire testing of laser designation capability for the RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS). The event confirmed the system’s precision, with all missiles hitting their intended targets.

The airborne Shadow aircraft laser designator places a concentrated laser spot on a target, enabling precise tracking by a missile to the target of interest. Three missiles were fired during the exercise: the first launched from a ground launcher, the second was performed as a lock-on before launch from an Apache helicopter, and the third was a lock-on after launch from the Apache.

“Unmanned aircraft excel in applications where they can keep aircrews out of harm’s way,” explains Steven Reid, AAI’s vice president of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “Because our Shadow TUAS can provide this valuable laser designation capability, manned aircraft can remain significantly farther from their intended targets without jeopardizing the success of their missions.”

Having successfully completed live-fire testing of the technology, AAI moves into the low-rate initial production phase of this project, during which the laser designator will be readied for full-rate production and retrofit to delivered Shadow systems.

The Shadow TUAS is in service with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. These systems have amassed more than 350,000 total flight hours, the vast majority of which have been in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.


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