Shipboard

Textron Systems will provide a second US ESB with UAS operation on board





The Aerosonde Unmanned Arial Surveillance (UAS) vehicle, Buck G, waits to be launched aboard the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) in the Atlantic Ocean, September 25, 2020. US MARINE CORPS / Sgt. Megan Roses

HUNT VALLEY, Md. — Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, has been awarded a contract worth up to $22 million by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide UAS operational support to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the company said in an Oct. 20 statement. The contract begins in fiscal year 2023 and has a total potential performance period of five years. The award builds on the four-year expansion of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) earlier this year and joins two guided-missile destroyers, bringing the total number of US Navy ships supported to four. by the Aerosonde UAS system.

Under this contract, Textron Systems will deploy its Aerosonde UAS to provide extended range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) services with enhanced mission payloads aboard the ESB 5. Service representatives Company field personnel will work alongside Sailors aboard to provide support for a variety of maritime missions.

“There are many ships of opportunity with the Navy that can benefit from a consistent multi-INT ISR,” said Wayne Prender, senior vice president, Air Systems. “Through this fee-for-service contract, the Navy can continue to evolve future onboard ISR requirements while supporting existing real-world missions. We are already seeing the benefits for DDG- and ESB-class vessels, and we continue to optimize our services to provide the unique operational and logistical capabilities our customers demand to accomplish their mission and keep our sailors safe.

The Aerosonde system has accumulated more than 585,000 flight hours in service with several US and international allies. It is designed for land and sea expeditionary operations in austere environments and is equipped for multiple payload configurations. For more than 10 years, Textron Systems has provided cost-effective turnkey operations, providing hands-on operational support to customers around the world.

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