Navy to extend Textron's UAS operations aboard ESB-4

By Audrey Decker / May 31, 2022 at 2:10 PM

The Navy is extending Textron Systems' contract to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services aboard an expeditionary sea base ship.

For the past three years, Textron’s small unmanned aircraft system Aerosonde has been operating aboard the expeditionary sea base ship Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4).

“The period of performance will include a one-year base period, two 12-month and two 6-month options providing critical UAS ISR services in direct support of United States Africa Command,” according to a notice published today.

Textron’s UAS provides real-time imagery and data that supports conventional and Special Operations forces with electro-optical, infrared and other electronic sensor data, according to the Navy.

The service did not specify which operations will be supported by the UAS.

The notice detailed that if a UAS other than Textron’s Aerosonde was installed aboard ESB-4, the ship would be non-operational for 11 weeks to accommodate ship alterations.

“ESB-4 supports conventional and SOF forces in an active [area of responsibility], 11 weeks of non-operational time is not acceptable to the operational customer and would preclude the ship from meeting mission requirements,” the notice said.