UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Paris Air Show: Nightwarden absent as Textron Systems detail unmanned focus

10th June 2019 - 15:40 GMT | by Richard Thomas in London

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Unveiled two years ago under a blazing solar spotlight and no little attention on the ground, Textron Systems’ Nightwarden UAS will not be on display at Paris Air Show 2019 as the company looks to focus its unmanned attention on other platforms within its portfolio.

In particular, the company will look to highlight recent activities with the US Army on the Aerosonde HQ, which was selected in March for the first phase of the service’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems, and the Shadow UAS, the Block III variant of which recently started flight tests.

A company spokesperson told Shephard that the Nightwarden would continue to be offered as a solution to prospective customers.

In July 2018 flights of the aircraft were moved to its Blackstone facility near Richmond, Virginia, to continue preparations ahead of any future sale. The site also hosts Textron’s Aerosonde system. 

Designed as a production ready model of the older Shadow M2, it was further reported that development changes were progressing at the Blackstone facility, including the addition of technology readiness level eight functionality being added to the programme.

By August of the same year, the company stated that ‘domestic interest’ had been shown in the platform, although it remains to be seen what future European or wider international prospects could bring about the first Nightwarden sale.

On the manned side of aviation, Textron Aviation and Textron Aviation Defense will look to showcase a range of light attack and ISR aircraft, including the AT-6 Wolverine, King Air 350i and Grand Caravan EX.

Additional reporting by Tim Martin.

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