Athena builds flight control system for Army Shadow UAV

WARRENTON, Va., 2 Feb. 2006. Athena Technologies, Inc. today announced it had received a $9.1 million order for its GuideStar flight control systems from Hunt Valley, Md.-based AAI Corp.

WARRENTON, Va., 2 Feb. 2006. Athena Technologies, Inc. today announced it had received a $9.1 million order for its GuideStar flight control systems from Hunt Valley, Md.-based AAI Corp.

AAI Corp. is the prime contractor for the U.S. Army's tactical unmanned aircraft system, known as Shadow. The Shadow has accumulated over 75,000 flight hours and 21,000 sorties in deployments and training worldwide, including in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Athena has been supplying its GS-211e flight controls, or "ACE-II," as AAI calls the solution, for the Shadow since 2004.

"We have been very pleased with Athena's flight control systems and the company's extensive expertise in the UAS industry," said Steve Reid, AAI's vice president of unmanned aircraft systems. "The ACE-II has proven to be highly reliable under the most extreme conditions and we consider Athena to be an integral part of our overall Shadow team."

The new order follows the successful delivery of three previous full rate production (FRP) orders placed by AAI in 2004 and 2005. This new order brings the cumulative value of FRP orders for the Shadow 200 UAS to $24.6 million.

As innovators in developing flight controls and navigation systems for UASs, Athena is continually bringing to market the next generation of controls technology and avionics. Athena developed the GuideStar family of autonomous vehicle control and integrated sensor suite systems that range in size from a cigar box (GS-311 and GS-211) to a small cigarette pack (GS-111M). With its compact size, integrated sensor suite, and superior performance, an increasing number of customers are choosing Athena's solution for their unmanned vehicle programs.

Athena has a long history of developing high-performance flight-proven guidance and control solutions for a wide range of unmanned vehicles, from Tactical UASs, to Unmanned Combat UASs, ducted fan UASs, target drones, missiles, helicopters and more. With every program, Athena applies its proven and patented controls technology and adapts it to a given vehicle's requirements and characteristics. This proven and consistent process helps customers such as AAI field UASs reliably and at a low life cycle cost.

"AAI continues to be a world leader in the development and deployment of UASs for surveillance, reconnaissance and the protection of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Athena is proud to supply AAI with flight control solutions and we look forward to continuing to meet their requirements," said Athena CEO David Vos.

Athena Technologies is a premier developer and producer of navigation and control systems. Founded in 1998, the company produces the GuideStar family of versatile, compact and cost-effective flight control systems for applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), target drones and missiles. The company is an independent, privately held firm with headquarters in Northern Virginia. For more information, see www.athenati.com.

AAI Corp. designs, produces, and supports defense systems. Its products and services include unmanned aircraft 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. For more information, see www.unitedindustrial.com or www.aaicorp.com or www.esldefense.co.uk.

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