PR – AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, today announced it will unveil the Mark 4.7, the newest addition to its family of Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS), at the 2009 Australian International Air Show in Avalon, Victoria. The aircraft successfully completed test flights at Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz., during February.
The Mark 4.7 aircraft’s design leverages the current trend toward miniaturization of sensor technology; it carries a multi-sensor payload combining high-fidelity electro-optic, infrared and laser range finder/pointer capabilities, as well as a common data link. The aircraft also builds upon the proven features of the Aerosonde Mark 4.4 by using the same power plant and avionics, while incorporating a larger wing and fuselage that enable the system to conduct endurance missions in excess of 12 hours. The Mark 4.7 is compatible with AAI’s Expeditionary Ground Control Station for fast, easy setup and launch, as well as with AAI’s NATO standardization agreement 4586-compliant One System® Ground Control Station. In addition, the system deploys a newly integrated launch and recovery system for space-constrained field and shipboard operations.
“The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 is designed to meet the requirements of tactical and maritime missions when persistent intelligence and surveillance are required,” says Vice President of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Steven Reid of AAI. “Like our entire family of Aerosonde SUAS, the Mark 4.7 also incorporates features for ease of use. It is capable of fully autonomous flight, including takeoff and landing, as well as catapult launch and innovative recovery methods.”
The Mark 4.7 was developed through close collaboration between experts at AAI’s Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters, and those on location at Aerosonde Pty Ltd., the company’s SUAS business located in Melbourne, Australia.