A Textron (NYSE: TXT) business unit has been awarded a $116.5 million contract to update a tactical unmanned aircraft system the U.S. Army operates for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and to relay communications.
Textron’s unmanned systems business will work to update 24 of the Army’s RQ-7B V2 Shadow TUAS and deliver that set of unmanned aircraft back to the service branch in 2018, Textron said Monday.
The company will also help the Defense Department hire and train staff for the Shadow program and be responsible for logistics and field services.
DoD has 117 Shadow units that are operated by the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.
“The Shadow TUAS has been (DoD’s) workhorse for years and has nearly one million flight hours — the most for any system in its class, ” said Henry Finneral, a vice president for Textron’s unmanned business.
The Army also uses Shadow systems for laser designation missions and to conduct scouting operations with the service branch’s Apache helicopters.
Australia, Italy and Sweden have acquired Shadow for their armed forces.