Military Embedded Systems

Unmanned Shadow aircraft in development for U.S. Army


December 04, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Textron Systems photo.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, announced the sale of 36 Shadow aircraft in the latest Block III configuration to the U.S. Army. The total contract award value of $66 million includes ongoing engineering services to continue fielding and supporting the new Block III system configuration.

According to the company, the Shadow Block III system builds on the success of previous configurations. 

The upgraded system incorporates design improvements, allowing for increased availability to operate in adverse weather conditions, high-definition day-and-night video payload, increased engine power and reliability with a reduced acoustic signature, and enhanced manned-unmanned teaming with the Army’s Apache assets and an advanced communications relay.

The company claims that the Shadow Block III system is ready and able to provide aerial support to warfighters in contested environments. With 1.2 million flight hours and counting, the Shadow system’s track record provides a solid foundation for continued development and global use.

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