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Textron Systems Unmanned Systems, a Textron Inc. business, recently announced that it has been named as one of two companies selected to compete for Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MEUAS) III task orders from the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Textron Systems is eligible to compete for opportunities to provide contractor-owned, contractor-operated operations using the AEROSONDE Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

MEUAS III is a follow-on contract for UAS intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) services supporting Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel and operations at multiple international sites. This includes all planning, coordination, certification, installation, pre-deployment, deployment, logistics, maintenance, flying operations and post-deployment efforts. The contract is 54-months long with a maximum ceiling of $475 million.

After proudly working with USSOCOM under the MEUAS II contract, we look forward to continuing this relationship and fulfilling all of their operational expectations,” Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Vice President of Small and Medium Endurance UAS David Phillips, explained. “With the AEROSONDE system’s maturity and experience spanning nearly 200,000 flight hours around the world, as well as the system’s multi-mission and expeditionary capacity, we are providing unmatched capabilities to USSOCOM. It is our priority to support and understand our customers’ needs – and this is a great example of how our solutions can help to address them.”

The AEROSONDE Small UAS is equipped to carry numerous payloads in a single flight; for example, advanced electro-optic/infrared payloads for day-and-night persistent oversight, precision survey imaging, as well as communications relay to extend the reach of communications in non-linear terrain. Further, incorporating Lycoming’s EL-005 engine, the AEROSONDE is one of the only systems in its class with a propulsion system completely supported by a manufacturer with great manned aviation expertise, including a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Production Certificate. With that comes Lycoming Engines’ established processes for engine development, production, services and support.


At Paris Air Show 2017, Textron Systems is showcasing the AEROSONDE HQ (Hybrid Quad), which is ready for production, according to the company. Texron Systems is delivering proposals this year, while this summer will see testing of the VTOL vehicle on a maritime craft, as the company has successfully completed initial simulated testing on a moving vehicle. (Photo: DPM)

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