AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced that Italy’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) – Directorate of General Aeronautical Armament has selected AAI’s Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) for the Italian Army. Under this 51 million euro ($64 million) award, Italy will purchase four Shadow TUAS for deployment alongside NATO forces.
The Italian MoD’s competitive procurement for TUAS identified several system requirements leading up to the selection of AAI’s Shadow system. These features include a small system footprint; easy transportation using small vehicles or C-130 Hercules aircraft; ease of use; interoperability with other NATO forces; and the ability to take off and land from small, semi-prepared airfields.
Shadow TUAS leverage AAI’s interoperable One System Ground Control Station architecture to receive and disseminate battlefield video. Its design also complies with NATO Standardization Agreement 4586, enhancing interoperability among international unmanned aircraft systems.
AAI is taking advantage of select Italian defense suppliers to facilitate the delivery of the four Shadow systems to the MoD, including RIGEL International Engineering & Consultancy Agency, an experienced Italian defense contractor. System deliveries are expected to begin in 2011.