Textron inks UAS support contract for US Navy’s ESB-5

Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, has been awarded a contract valued at up to $22 million by the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide UAS operational support to the USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5).


Under this contract, Textron Systems will deploy its Aerosonde UAS to provide extended range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services with enhanced mission payloads aboard the ESB-5.

The company’s Field Service Representatives (FSR) will work alongside the sailors onboard to provide support for a variety of maritime missions.

 The contract begins in 2023 and has a total potential performance period of five years. 

“There are numerous vessels of opportunity with the Navy that can benefit from consistent multi-INT ISR,” said Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President, Air Systems.

“Through this fee-for-service contract, the Navy can continue to mature future shipboard ISR requirements while supporting existing real-world missions.”

This award builds on the four-year extension of USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) earlier this year and joins two DDG-class ships, bringing the total number of US Navy ships supported by the Aerosonde UAS system to four.

The Aerosonde system has amassed more than 585,000 flight hours while serving multiple U.S. and international allies. It is designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations.