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Aerosonde wins US Navy UAS contract for LCS

Melbourne-based Aerosonde, a Textron Systems Corporation subsidiary, has won an initial contract valued at up to US$19.5 million ($30 million) by the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide UAS operational support to two Independence-class LCS and one Freedom-class LCS variants. This award joins the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB)-4 and ESB-5, as well as two DDG- class ships, bringing the total number of US Navy ships supported by the Aerosonde® UAS system to seven.

Aerosonde will deploy its Aerosonde UAS to provide mission overwatch and extended intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services with enhanced mission payloads as seen aboard the ESB-5.

“Contractor-owned/contractor-operated contracts like this support the Navy’s continued investments in uncrewed assets for their ships,” said Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President, Textron Air Systems. “We’ve seen the benefits of our Aerosonde UAS for DDG and ESB-class ships already, and we’re honoured to be expanding into this new ship class, allowing us to continue supporting maritime domain awareness and missions while delivering operational and logistical capabilities.”

The Aerosonde system has amassed more than 600,000 operational flight hours in Australia, the US and elsewhere. It is designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations with both fixed-wing and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) options.

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