Home Air US Army orders 36 Block III Shadow UAS from Textron

US Army orders 36 Block III Shadow UAS from Textron

Shadow UAS launching
US Army file photo

The US Army has awarded Textron Systems Corporation a $66 million contract modification for the delivery of 36 Shadow unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the latest Block III configuration.

The contract includes ongoing engineering services to continue fielding and supporting the new Block III system configuration.

“We are proud to maintain our strong partnership of more than 20 years with the US Army on the Shadow program,” said Senior Vice President David Phillips of Textron Systems. “The Shadow Block III will support the customer with the enhanced capabilities soldiers need to fulfill today’s and tomorrow’s missions.”

The Shadow Block III system builds on previous configurations and incorporates design improvements, allowing for increased availability to operate in adverse weather conditions. Block III also features the latest high-definition day-and-night video payload, increased engine power and reliability with a reduced acoustic signature, enhanced manned-unmanned teaming with the Army’s Apache assets and an advanced communications relay.

The contract award follows the US Army’s operational testing of the new RQ–7B Shadow Block III system earlier this year, with operators flying close to 500 flight hours under realistic battlefield conditions.

The testing saw the Shadow UAS support area surveillance, reconnaissance, calls for fire, target lazing and designation for the AH–64D and AH–64E Apache helicopters, as well as other reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations.

The Block III Shadow improves upon the Army’s version 2 (V2) systems, with a more capable payload sensor, improved engine, weatherization package, and an upgraded avionics package which includes Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Communications and upgraded Levels of Interoperability (LOI) functionality.