Textron Systems announced on 18 March it has it received a contract from the US Army, valued at up to $607 million (€509 million), to provide contract logistics support, field services, and engineering support, as well as retrofit of existing SHADOW RQ-7B Block II Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) to the upgraded Block III configuration.

This award follows a highly successful Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) of the Block III configuration by the Army in late 2020. The work, scheduled to begin immediately and to be conducted over a five-year period, will be conducted in Textron’s Hunt Valley, MD facility, and will modernise the current SHADOW Block II and provide product, support and sustainment activities for the fleet. The award enables the maintenance of the SHADOW,

The SHADOW Block III builds on the success of previous configurations, incorporating design improvements and allowing for increased operations in adverse weather conditions, the latest high-definition day-and-night video payloads, increased engine power and reliability, reduced acoustic signature and an advanced communications relay. With these upgrades, the SHADOW Block III is ready and able to provide aerial support, even in the most challenging of environments. With 1.25 million flight hours and counting, the SHADOW’s proven track record offers a solid foundation for continued development and use around the world.

The SHADOW is to be upgraded to the Block III configuration. (Photo: Textron Systems)

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