The Army has selected five operational units to test the four offerings vying for RQ-7 Shadow drone replacement program, with demonstrations to begin next spring.
The major soldier touchpoint event for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (FTUAS) program will take place over several months and be used to gather data needed to refine final requirements, according to the Army.
“Gaining soldier input early in the developmental process provides our cross functional team invaluable feedback needed in defining the best capabilities for our Warfighters. This demonstration will be the signature soldier touch point for Future Vertical Lift in 2020, and it’s exciting to see it coming to fruition,” Brig Gen. Walter Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, said in a statement.
The Army has previously selected Martin UAV, Textron’s [TXT] AAI Corp., L3Harris [LHX] and Arcturus UAV for FTUAS to demonstrate their non-developmental UAS offerings (Defense Daily, July 26).
“Advancements in technology afford the Army the opportunity to quickly improve on its current tactical unmanned aerial systems by gaining runway independence, improving its ability to transport this system with organic CH-47 Chinooks, and to lower acoustic signatures,” the Army said in a statement.
The five units participating in the test demonstrations are the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in Texas, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley in Kansas, and the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley in Kansas.