The 2nd contract below is new to me. It may be to re-power the RQ-7B Shadow's with the more powerful Orbital Heavy Fuel Engines.
AAI Gets $600M Aerosonde Order from US Special Forces Command Posted on March 7, 2012 by The Editor
US Special Forces Command (SOCOM) selected the AAI Aerosonde to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services. The mid-endurance unmanned air systems (MEUAS) award, worth up to $600 million over time, will see AAI operate and maintain the small unmanned aircraft on SOCOM’s behalf.
Textron, AAI’s parent company, declined to provide additional details, including aircraft type and payloads. However, AAI officials told Flightglobal in January of their intent to bid the contract with a revamped version of the Aerosonde Mk 4.7.
The modified Aerosonde, known internally as ‘Aerosonde-G,’ weighs 34kg [75lb] and includes a heavy fuel engine with significantly increased power. The aircraft uses the same ground control station as the RQ-7, a system also built by AAI that is widely operated throughout US ground forces.
Aerosonde and two others were selected to fulfill the US Navy’s ISR services contract, a similar contractor-owned, contractor-operated contract worth up to $874 million.
AAI Gets US Army $180M Shadow Support Contract Posted on March 16, 2012 by The Editor
AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded an $180,900,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract.
The award will provide for the sustainment services in support of the RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aircraft systems. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., Afghanistan and Australia with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2012. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-12-C-0011).
U.S. Chooses Aerosonde, Other UAVs for ISR Services
The U.S. military has awarded contracts for UAVs to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services potentially worth nearly $1.5 billion. The main beneficiary appears to be AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which proposed the Australian-built Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft system.