US Orders 36 More RQ-7B Shadow UAVs, Support Services
Since being deployed to Iraq at the outset of military operations in early 2003, Shadow UAV units have flown more than 17,000 sorties and 76,000 flight hours in support of U.S. and allied operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. DID has covered some of those experiences and lessons learned.
Now United Industrial Corporation subsidiary AAI Corp. has received $152.7 million in contracts for 36 Shadow UAVs, associated systems, and support. Details re: the contracts, and systems, follow below…
The first contract is an $87.2 million funded contract from the U.S. Army for the production of nine additional Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS). The 9 systems include 36 advanced RQ-7B Shadow 200 UAVs, 18 One System(R) ground control stations, and associated components and support equipment, will be delivered between April 2007 – March 2008. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, MD and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2009. This was a sole source contract initiated on Jan. 11, 2006 by the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-06-C-0292).
This is the fourth consecutive full-rate production contract awarded to AAI since the U.S. Army first selected the Shadow for the TUAS role in December 1999. DID covrred one previous contract in August 2005, and noted the key upgrades in the RQ-7B model. The company has received production contracts for a total of 64 U.S. Army Shadow systems, bringing to 256 the total number of production Shadow 200 aircraft ordered (each system includes four aircraft). Forty-three systems (172 aircraft) have been delivered so far, and system deliveries now extend through March 2008.
In addition to the production of Shadow systems, AAI provides support and sustainment operations for fielded and deployed U.S. Army units. To which end, AAI also received a $65.6 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for performance-based contractor logistics support for the Shadow TUAS Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, MD and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 7, 2006 by the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-06-C-0256).
On November 8, 2005, the U.S. Army Shadow Tactical UAV program earned a first-ever special achievement award from the U.S. Defense Department for readiness and mission success during Operation Iraqi Freedom (“OIF”).