Australia releases shortlist for Shadow 200 replacement

The Australian Army has shortlisted four companies to compete in providing a replacement for its AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 tactical unmanned aerial system (UAS) under its Project LAND 129 campaign.

The down-selected companies comprise Insitu Pacific, Leidos Australia, Raytheon Australia and Textron Systems Australia, and the programme will now progress to the tendering stage.

RQ-7 Shadow 200 [Commonwealth of Australia - Department of Defence/Bombardier Carly McAllister] #1
An Australian Army RQ-7 Shadow 200 tactical unmanned aerial system (UAS) comes in to land at the multinational base, Tarin Kot, following a mission over the Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan. Commonwealth of Australia – Department of Defence/Bombardier Carly McAllister

In a press release from the Australian Department of Defence (DoD), local businesses were thanked for their support in the invitation-to-register phase of the programme.

Andrew McKinnon, deputy director of the Australian Army’s UAS Projects, emphasised the involvement of local companies in the Australian Defence Force’s unmanned systems space. He added that “these companies are encouraged to continue their engagement with the LAND 129 Phase 3 down-selected tenderers in order to deliver a world class capability… Unmanned aerial systems are a key component of [the] army’s surveillance and reconnaissance capability, with some smaller unmanned systems recently being used [during] Operation Bushfire Assist”.

The next phase of the programme will focus on a competitive evaluation of the tendered platforms from each of the four down-selected companies, before the project progresses to government consideration next year.