Army selects AAI Corp. to enhance Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft with all-digital tactical common data link

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 11 Aug. 2009. AAI Corp., an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, won an award of more than $32 million from the U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. According to the contract, AAI personnel will engineer and manufacture activities to enhance the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) with the tactical common data link (TCDL).

Aug 11th, 2009

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 11 Aug. 2009. AAI Corp., an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, won an award of more than $32 million from the U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. According to the contract, AAI personnel will engineer and manufacture activities to enhance the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) with the tactical common data link (TCDL).

The TCDL is a Ku-band digital data link that delivers wide-bandwidth communications using common data link, or CDL, waveform standards. It is being integrated using a NATO standardization agreement (STANAG) 4586-compliant architecture that enables interoperability with the latest NATO and U.S. Army standards, says a representative.

The enhanced system will be designed to provide Shadow TUAS users a common interface with other military systems that incorporate TCDL and these interoperability standards, including the Extended-Range, Multi-Purpose Sky Warrior unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Hunter UAS, and the Apache helicopter.

TCDL can accommodate state-of-the-art digital sensor technology, and its encryption capabilities provide enhanced data security.

"The incredible success our customers have experienced with the Shadow TUAS during more than 420,000 operational hours continually drives us to make the system more multi-mission capable," says vice president of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Steven Reid of AAI. "The integration of TCDL provides greater flexibility, data security, and interoperability to support mission success. It is exciting to help bring battlefield interoperability across U.S. Army manned and unmanned aviation assets."

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