The US Army has awarded a contract to AAI Corporation for the production of additional Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems (TUAS).

Under the $39m contract, the company will supply two additional units for the US Army and one for the marine corps.

The Shadow unmanned system is designed to locate, recognise and identify targets up to 125km from a brigade tactical operations centre. and can recognise tactical vehicles at day and night from an altitude of 8,000ft and at a range of 3.5km.

Each Shadow system includes four Shadow aircraft, two One System ground control stations and ground data terminals, four One System remote video terminals, a One System portable ground control station, and associated components and support equipment.

AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems vice president Steven Reid said the company-developed mission profiles extended beyond reconnaissance and surveillance to target acquisition, intelligence-gathering and communications relay.

To date, AAI has delivered 91 Shadow systems, and the recent contract will extend the deliveries to March 2011.