HUNT VALLEY, Md., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems unveiled the newest version of a tactical aircraft use used by U.S. military forces.
The Shadow M2 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System is the next generation of AAI Shadow 200 TUAS, which has amassed nearly 700,000 flight hours.
AAI UAS said that with a wingspan of 25 feet, the Shadow M2 aircraft offers greater endurance for longer mission capacity, as well as execution of additional mission profiles.
Increased payload volume, dual payload bays and external wing hard points provide additional room for avionics, mission equipment, communication solutions and sense-and-avoid equipment. This payload flexibility benefits both tactical users requiring a multi-mission-capable asset, as well as civil users requiring law enforcement, disaster response, homeland security or scientific support.
The M2 also features a new heavy fuel engine provided by fellow Textron Systems operating unit Lycoming Engines, which is designed to manned aircraft specifications to enhance aircraft performance and reliability.
The Shadow M2 can launch, fly and laser designate at higher altitudes and incorporates a larger parachute, simpler equipment access and enhanced landing gear for greater ease of use, the company said.
Additional features: a modular design and common avionics systems architecture, enabling rapid reconfiguration for combined mission capabilities, including: synthetic aperture radar with ground and dismount moving target indicators; wide-area surveillance; signals intelligence; electronic warfare; Triclops, the U.S. Army's multi-sensor payload system; satellite communications; communications relay systems; and enhanced electro-optical/infrared sensors with features such as SAR/GMTI, short-wave infrared and high-definition capabilities.