UV - Unmanned Vehicles

AAI Corporation and Aeronautics Defense Systems team to provide Orbiter Unmanned Aircraft

30th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron company, announced today that the company has entered into a teaming agreement with Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel to market the Orbiter Mini-UAV (unmanned air vehicle) system jointly to U.S. and select international customers.

Under the terms of this teaming agreement, AAI will lead marketing activities for the Orbiter Mini-UAV (MUAV) system in the U.S., including foreign military sales to Israel, and in other countries to be mutually agreed in the future. AAI also will manufacture the Orbiter system at its Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters for select programs.

The Orbiter MUAV is less than 40 inches in length and designed for the rigors of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. With an operational endurance of up to three hours, the Orbiter MUAV can fly as high as 18,000 feet. Its light composite construction and battery-powered operation allow easy portability to ensure a team of two fielded warfighters can quickly deploy, launch and operate the aircraft.

The Orbiter MUAV system is a leading competitor for the Israel Defense Forces Land Forces Command acquisition program that recently was launched, already having been selected and operationally deployed by a number of other countries including Poland and Ireland.

"This teaming agreement enables AAI and Aeronautics Defense Systems to leverage its collective strengths in the unmanned aircraft domain," explains AAI Vice President of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Steve Reid. "The Orbiter MUAV system is well respected for its robust capabilities in such a compact size; and AAI has proven expertise in designing, manufacturing and supporting both tactical and small unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies. Together, we can bring this product to new customers who will gain powerful mission capabilities."

The Orbiter MUAV system is currently being integrated into AAI's robust One System Ground Control Station (OSGCS), a platform that is designed to meet NATO standardization agreement requirements for unmanned aircraft interoperability. In fact, all of AAI's unmanned aircraft are compatible with the company's OSGCS, One System Portable Ground Control Station, and One System Remote Video Terminal.

AAI produces and supports a complete family of advanced tactical unmanned aircraft systems, including Shadow(R) systems flown by the U.S. Army, National Guard, and Marine Corps. Shadow systems have amassed more than 345,000 collective flight hours. The company also produces a small unmanned aircraft system called the Aerosonde, named for AAI's Australian subsidiary which initially developed the high-endurance aircraft for military, civil and scientific missions.

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