The US Army has ordered 100 extended wing kits from AAI Corporation for its Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems.

The new extended wing increases the shadow aircraft’s wingspan from 14ft to 20ft, increasing the aircraft’s fuel cell and its endurance capacity from six to around nine hours.

In addition, the redesigned wing significantly increases the aircraft’s mission flexibility during combat operations and will allow the aircraft to collect and distribute electro-optical and infrared full-motion video and metadata as well as carry additional payloads.

The Shadow aircraft fleet update programme being carried out by AAI will install additional enhancements to the aircraft including the new laser designator payload and a new electronic fuel injection engine and fuel system, which will increase the system’s reliability.

Deliveries of extended wing kits have begun under the fleet update programme, which originally began in early February.