AAI Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of United Industrial Corp. [UIC].
The Shadow TUAV provides commanders with tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment in support of tactical maneuver. The RQ-7A model has a 13-foot wingspan and a payload capacity of about 60-pounds. The endurance is more than four hours on station at a distance of 50 km. The Shadow TUAV is the first Defense Department UAV system to successfully pass formal operational testing and passed a Milestone III acquisition review into full production. The system ground control station (GCS) is the only joint certified GCS in DoD. Three C-130 aircraft can transport the TUAV system. Each system consists of four air vehicles and two ground control systems.
The Army RQ-7A Shadow TUAV has flown more than 2,200 sorties and accumulated more than 8,800 flight hours while performing surveillance and reconnaissance in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Six Shadow systems are operating in OIF with complete contractor support. Aug. 4, the new Shadow TUAV systems with a block upgrade, began rolling off the production line. The upgrade incorporates wing, tail and avionics upgrades and is designated the RQ-7B. The wing has been made larger to accommodate the anticipated addition of the Tactical Common Data Link. Endurance has been extended from five hours to more than six hours, due to increased fuel capacity and a more efficient airfoil with the new wing. The tail size has increased for aerodynamic balance. Improvements in avionics and payload will improve target location accuracy. Athena Technologies, Inc.Ãs GS-211e flight controller adds an inertial measurement unit and improves computer processing within the TUAV for more accurate navigation and altitude sensing.
AAI is able to sell the Shadow TUAV to international customers, and is working with several interested parties. Other members of the Shadow UAV family have been sold to foreign customers, such as the Shadow 600, operating in Iraq by the Romanians in support of allied forces.
AAI contract revenues on Shadow TUAV since its inception now total more than $330 million, with an additional $138 million in contractor logistics support. In 2002, AAI received an $86 million contract for Shadow 200 TUAVs, the first full-rate production contract for any DoD UAV. The first system was fielded 33 months after AAI received the initial low-rate production contract in 1999. The Army projects continued Shadow TUAV fielding for a total of 41 systems.