AAI Expands Fee-for-Service Unmanned Aircraft Systems Capabilities

February 01, 2010
HUNT VALLEY, Md., Feb 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it is expanding its fee-for-service unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) capabilities. U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) customers, as well as civil and scientific organizations, now can leverage contractor-owned, contractor-operated UAS services utilizing AAI's proven unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies.

"We have designed our UAS to be adaptable for our customers' evolving mission requirements," says Senior Vice President and General Manager Ellen Lord of AAI. "In just the same way, expanding our fee-for-service capabilities also enables us to be more flexible to help customers meet their growing and changing UAS needs. Based on the mission, customers can choose between our Shadow(R) Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems, our Aerosonde(R) fleet of small unmanned aircraft systems or the Orbiter(TM) miniature unmanned aircraft system."

Contractor-owned, contractor-operated UAS services allow customers to secure just the valuable data they require, even under a wide variety of operational conditions, without incurring the personnel cost or equipment, training and maintenance investment demanded by a UAS fleet. AAI's Logistics & Technical Services team includes experienced, highly skilled operators and maintainers who deliver reliable, thorough results for numerous mission requirements.

"AAI is a full-service UAS provider -- from systems to total life cycle support, training and in-field services," says Vice President, Logistics & Technical Services Diane Giuliani of AAI. "Expanding our contractor-owned, contractor-operated UAS services is another way that our customers can reach out to AAI and receive a tailored, comprehensive solution."

Customers, including NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Colorado and Australia's Defense Science and Technology Organisation, have benefited from thousands of fee-for-service flight hours using AAI's fleet of Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft systems. Most recently, the University of Colorado outfitted the Aerosonde Mark 4 aircraft with specialized instruments to capture extensive data on coastal winds in Antarctica. Despite heavy winds and temperatures as low as -38 degrees Celsius, four Aerosonde aircraft logged more than 130 flight hours and flew nearly 7,000 miles during their 16 flights. These aircraft also have proved their robust design amid desert sands, Arctic chill and dangerous, hurricane-force winds.

About AAI

AAI Corporation and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design, produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies; high-fidelity training and simulation systems; automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment; armament systems; and logistical, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at http://www.aaicorp.com.

About Textron Systems

Textron Systems Corporation has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment services, Textron Systems includes AAI Corporation, Lycoming Engines, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Textron Systems Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at http://www.textronsystems.com.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, 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, and Textron Systems. More information is available at http://www.textron.com.

AAI and design is a registered trademark of AAI Corporation.

Shadow is a registered trademark of AAI Corporation.

Aerosonde is a registered trademark of Aerosonde Pty Ltd.

Orbiter is a trademark of Aeronautics Ltd.

SOURCE: Textron

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