Army orders ground control station for Warrior UAV

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 4 Oct. 2005. AAI Corp. has been awarded a contract by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. to provide ground control equipment and technologies for the U.S. Army's newest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 4 Oct. 2005. AAI Corp. has been awarded a contract by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. to provide ground control equipment and technologies for the U.S. Army's newest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.

AAI's portion of the Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV system development and demonstration contract has an estimated value of $30 million over the term of the contract, with approximately $1 million funded to date.

General Atomics is the prime contractor for the Army's ER/MP program, codenamed Warrior.

The Warrior systems development and demonstration (SDD) contract is scheduled to last about 48 months, with initial operational capability expected in fiscal year 2009. General Atomics has partnered with AAI for ground control station equipment and technology, and with SPARTA, Inc., for logistics and supportability.

The Army intends to procure 11 Warrior systems, each with 12 aerial vehicles, five ground control stations, and other support equipment such as ground data terminals, spares, and interactive electronic technical manuals required to field a complete system. Total program value for the SDD and production phases is estimated to be about $1 billion.

The new Warrior UAV will be capable of executing missions such as reconnaissance, communications relay, and attack with its multiple weapons. Warrior's network connectivity using AAI's ground control system will reduce sensor-to-shooter time to suppress enemy threats more effectively. Warrior also will include an automatic takeoff and landing system and control via satellite communications and the Army's tactical common data link.

AAI developed and produces its One System ground control station (GCS) as part of the Army's ongoing Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) program. This state-of-the-art ground control station serves as the technological, operational, and intelligence-gathering heart of the ER/MP system known as Warrior.

The ER/MP One System GCS complies with STANAG 4586, a NATO standardization agreement that enables various UAVs to share information through common ground stations, thus enhancing interoperability among allied military forces.

Currently in production and fielded with Shadow TUAV systems, the soldier-friendly One System GCS was used to control the Warrior UAV during the ER/MP systems capabilities demonstration in early 2005. The One System GCS has also controlled the Army Hunter system, and a STANAG 4586 compliant version is scheduled to fly the Marine Corps Pioneer tactical UAV system in the first quarter of 2006.

"It's an important step toward our goal of having the AAI One System chosen as the common ground control station across the services. Using One System as a common ground control station provides value and cost efficiencies for the U.S. Defense Department," said Frederick M. Strader, president and CEO of United Industrial and AAI Corp. (AAI is a subsidiary of United Industrial Corp.)

AAI's One System GCS has been in Army service since 2001, logging more than 50,000 hours of operation, warfighter support, and training. The system has proven its durability and reliability in the harsh battlefield environment in Iraq.

United Industrial Corp. designs, produces, and supports defense systems. Its products and services include unmanned aerial vehicle systems, training and simulation systems, automated aircraft test and maintenance equipment, armament systems, logistical and engineering services, and other leading-edge technology solutions for defense needs. The company also manufactures combustion equipment for biomass and refuse fuels. For more information, visit www.unitedindustrial.com or www.aaicorp.com.

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