Army Places Two Large Orders for UAV Systems

by: Matthew Potter
July 13, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, development program, Events, Military Aviation, production program, Services, Textron, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Army announced this week two large contracts to purchase Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for use both by themselves and the Marine Corps. Over the last decade the U.S. military as much of the world’s have been investing in more systems with greater capabilities.

Originally planned mainly to be used for ISR missions the various UAV now in used include ones armed with Hellfire missiles and other weapons to carry out precision strike. The U.S. UAV fleet has grown significantly and their contribution to the fighting similarly.

First, General Atomics Systems, received a contract for more production of the MQ-1C Grey Eagle for the Army. The contract is worth just over $400 million and will procure spare parts and support as well. The Grey Eagle is an improved version of GA’s earlier Predator system and is being integrated into the Army primarily for reconnaissance.

Second, AAI Unmanned Systems, part of Textron (TXT), received a contract worth $350 million to upgrade RQ-7B Shadow systems to the V2 standard. These will be used by both the Army and Marine Corps. The upgrade allows longer range, more payload and better reliability. The Shadow not only collects information but has a communications relay role as well alongside some targeting capability.

The U.S. military will continue to develop and integrate UAV into their units to provide not only better ISR capabilities but also more strike and combat roles as well. They will be used to supplement manned aircraft in these roles and will received more and more funding.

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