AAI's New Technologies Support NATO Interoperability Standards for Unmanned Air and Ground Vehicles

September 18, 2008

Hunt Valley, MD - September 18, 2008 - AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, successfully demonstrated several new technologies for command-and-control of unmanned air and ground vehicles during the first week of August at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. These technologies were designed and developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City and the U.S. Army's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Program Office to support NATO interoperability standards.

AAI's recent demonstration included a new ground control station (GCS) based on the U.S. Army's One System(R) GCS, which the Army and Marine Corps use to operate the Shadow(R) 200 aircraft in theater. This new GCS is compliant with NATO standardization agreement (STANAG) 4586, translating information from unmanned vehicles into standardized message formats that can be shared with other systems. Likewise, information can be transferred back into vehicle-specific messaging formats for seamless interoperability. A separate vehicle-specific module (VSM) provides vehicle-unique control messages to the unmanned system being operated, whether a ground, sea or air platform. AAI's STANAG 4586 GCS architecture also provides a common user interface that can dynamically configure to the type of unmanned system being controlled.

The command-and-control capabilities of the GCS were further expanded to include the integration of QinetiQ North America's TALON(R) robot. AAI and QinetiQ North America successfully demonstrated a STANAG 4586-to-JAUS (Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems) translator designed to support the TALON robot. This also allows video to be transmitted from Talon to AAI's One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT).

AAI currently is working with QinetiQ North America's Technology solutions Group in Waltham, Mass., to integrate OSRVT capabilities into the TALON's controller, which is expected to provide TALON operators even greater situational awareness from data provided by the UAS overhead.

"The objective of NATO STANAG 4586 is to create interoperability among different unmanned systems utilized by the alliance's military forces," says AAI's Vice President of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Steven Reid. "Because of AAI's longstanding expertise in GCS technologies, we are embracing this objective to create total GCS interoperability across various types of unmanned platforms. This will keep American and allied warfighters safe, as well as increase their mission success rate."

The systems AAI demonstrated to support this mission also included VSMs for its Shadow 200 and Aerosonde(R) unmanned aircraft, as well as software which successfully allows the GCS to interface with the Navy's unmanned vehicle management system (UVMS). The UVMS provides a task-driven interface that is expected to be used on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship to coordinate all unmanned vehicle activity.

In a similar demonstration during July, AAI successfully controlled an unmanned surface vessel (USV) off the coast of Melbourne, Fla., using the same GCS architecture in a man-portable configuration called an Expeditionary GCS.

"As a whole, the technologies AAI recently demonstrated represent a comprehensive, STANAG 4586-compliant solution," says Reid. "Our GCS architecture provides command-and-control capability for all compliant UAS, and now for UGV and USV systems too."

About AAI
AAI Corporation designs, produces, and supports aerospace and defense systems through its direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, AAI Services Corporation, Aerosonde Pty Ltd, ESL Defence Limited, and Symtx, Inc. Its high-technology products and services include unmanned aircraft systems, training and simulation systems, automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment, armament systems, aviation ground support equipment, and logistical, engineering, and supply chain services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.

About Textron Systems
Textron Systems Corporation has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for over 50 years. Known for its precision smart weapons, intelligent battlefield systems, surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, aircraft control components, piston engines, armored vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems, Textron Systems includes AAI, HR Textron, Lycoming Engines, Overwatch Tactical Operations, Overwatch Geospatial Operations, Textron Defense Systems, and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Textron Systems Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Avco Corporation. Avco Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.

About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a $13.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 34 countries with approximately 44,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.

Connect with Textron IR

Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Cameron Vollmuth, Manager,
Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

Email Alert

Enter your Email *
Mailing Lists *

Enter the code shown above.