Textron Systems have announced that the Aerosonde UAS has taken its inaugural operational flight from its first Littoral Combat Ship, the LCS-28 USS Savannah. Textron Systems was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command Center to provide UAS operational support to one Freedom Class and two Independence Class LCS variants.

The Aerosonde UAS will support the LCS missions of forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence with overwatch and extended intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services with enhanced payloads. The Independence Class LCS marks the fifth class and seventh total ship the Aerosonde system has been contracted to support. 

“Teaming an uncrewed Aircraft System with a crewed ship is a force multiplier for the ship’s existing mission sets, which we’ve seen with our Aerosonde UAS operating from DDG and ESB– class ships,” said Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President of Air Systems. “The expansion of the Aerosonde system’s services onto the LCS extends the capability of the various mission packages employed by the ship.”