Textron Systems press release
The integration follows a September 2021 award by the U.S. Navy of a multi-year Aerosonde task order for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services aboard two DDGs. The success of this first flight emphasizes the system’s ability to offer a mature, reliable aircraft to support the types of ship-based missions being performed now, all within a small aviation footprint in a higher sea state environment.
Built with maritime missions in mind, the Aerosonde platform offers multi-mission capability and, with over 550,000 flight hours, proven reliability and performance. Integrated into the ship’s combat systems, the Aerosonde is equipped to deliver day/night full-motion video, wide area surveillance, communications relay, signals intelligence and more. The expeditionary platform is powered by a heavy fuel engine and is capable of point takeoff and landing, minimizing impact to the ship’s operations.
“This flight for Aerosonde represents the expansion of the platform’s real-world maritime mission. Already operating on the expeditionary sea base ship USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4), we are excited to see Unmanned Systems contribute to the Navy’s critical missions across the globe. The system’s long endurance capabilities make it an ideal platform for maritime ISR operations; search and rescue; and many other missions providing the U.S. Navy with enhanced real-time situational awareness at any time, anywhere.”
Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President of Air Systems.
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About Aerosonde SUAS
Designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations and equipped for simultaneous day/night full-motion video, communications relay, signals intelligence, and a customer-selected payload in a single flight, Textron Systems’ Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) delivers multi-mission performance in a class by itself. It is field-proven with more than 500,000 flight hours, including desert heat and Arctic cold.
The company also offers turnkey, fee-for-service operations with its systems, operators, and trainers. Textron‘s hybrid approach provides hands-on training for customer staff while we launch operations.
- Expeditionary land- or sea-based operations
- Powered by Lycoming® EL-005 heavy-fuel engine for benchmark-setting reliability
- Covert operation, with negligible visual and auditory signature
- Multi-intelligence (multi-INT) payloads, i.e., electronic warfare (EW) and communications relay, in a single flight
Payload Capabilities Available:
- Full-motion video (FMV) and day/night imaging
- Voice communications relay
- Ad-hoc networking (MANET)
- Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
- Signals intelligence (SIGINT)
- Communications intelligence (COMINT)
- 3D mapping
- Automatic identification systems (AIS)
|Aerosonde® Fixed Wing||Aerosonde® HQ|
|Payload||Up to 20 lbs (9.1 kg) up to 200W||15 lbs|
|Max Wingspan||12.0 ft (3.7 m)||12.0 ft (3.7 m)|
|Ceiling||15,000 ft (4,572 m)||10,000 ft|
|Range||140 km (75 nm)||140 km (75 nm)|
|Max Takeoff Elevation||8,000 ft (2,438 m)||7,000 ft|
|UHF-, L-, S- and C-Band Capability||Yes||Yes|
|Weight||80 lbs (36.4 kg)||105 lb|
|Endurance||14+ hr||8 hrs (with 10 lb payload)|
|Automated Launch and Recovery||Single system with hydraulic pneumatic launcher and net recovery||Vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) capability|
|Airspeed||45-65 kt||45-65 kt|
|Transition Altitude||N/A||50-150 ft above ground level|