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AAI completes Navy operation

Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:25 AM

HUNT VALLEY, Md., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems of Maryland announced completion of a fee-for-service operation for the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center -- Dahlgren Division had been chartered to conduct unmanned aerial vehicle flights in conjunction with tests of various types of ground radars and capture and analyze those results.

AAI provided its experienced operators in a fee-for-service based arrangement using the Aerosonde UAV in support of those operations.

"Our team has years of BLOS (beyond line of sight) experience, gaining notoriety by flying a similar maritime mission in support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2007 … (during which) the Aerosonde flew for seven hours inside Hurricane Noel as part of its 17-hour flight," said AAI Division Vice President of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Stephen Flach.

"Our skilled operators and maintainers supported the eight-hour NSWC mission flights flawlessly which is a testament to the caliber of the flight crew AAI employs."

The Aerosonde Mark 4 series UAV performed this maritime mission profile by conducting preprogrammed flights over water at altitudes of a few hundred feet at more than 20 miles from shore.

AAI said the Aerosonde crew used a satellite system in conducting this beyond-line-of-sight operation.

Additional details of the tests weren't detailed.

AAI Corp. and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies.

AAI Corp. is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc.

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