At the World Police Summit in Dubai, UAE, Icarus Aerospace and Textron Systems unveiled a strategic alliance aimed at the expansion of non-military integration of advanced aerial technology into the global public safety and critical infrastructure industries.

Textron Systems is part of Textron Inc.'s family of brands, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, Bell, and E-Z-GO. They are best known for innovative defense, government, and aerospace technologies and services. Their systems’ capability and reliability are among the best in the world.

Icarus Aerospace Inc. is a US Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) specializing in bringing the technological advancements of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV/UAS) into the foreground of numerous areas, especially in the area of public safety as the first, and only, ANSI/ASTM E2659 Certificate Issuer for UAS and as the first ever IADLEST International best practice provider for UAS.

It is well known in the world of aerospace technologies that aircraft manufacturers are not in the business of training and integrating their various platforms into their customers’ workflows. This task is often left to third party partners which specialize in understanding all the moving parts and releasing them in an integrated and logical manner. Many of the top Aerospace and Defense manufacturers leave most of this integration to the Department of Defense, but what about public safety agencies and critical infrastructure entities who need integration support? With this announcement Icarus seems to answer this for Textron products.

We had the opportunity to talk to Joshua Brown, Founder, President, and CEO of Icarus Aerospace for an exclusive interview about his company and this important and groundbreaking alliance with one of the largest and most prestigious aircraft builders in the world.

“For years we’ve been developing, implementing and deploying UAS training systems for public safety agencies that are adding these incredible devices to their bag of tools to increase public safety and reduce risks to their officers,” said Joshua. “As the implementation of uncrewed aviation in public safety grows, the need for safe and integrated standardized training is critical. Agencies need UAS pilots who have knowledge and experience navigating their Airspace System. Our comprehensive ground and flight courses can take the organizations and their pilots from novice to proficient operator.”

Military customers with their large budget and almost unlimited resources, both financial and human, can implement their own integration strategies with minimal to no participation from the aircraft manufacturer in a complicated web of activities such as training, safety management systems (SMS) and maintenance protocols.

“What we are announcing today here in Dubai at the 2024 World Police Summit is a strategic alliance to serve as Textron’s new non-military integrator in the deployment and expansion of the Textron Systems Aerosonde Program in the public safety and critical infrastructure arenas,” Joshua said. “This helps increase safety, acts as a cost-savings solution, and even helps address climate change too.”

The Textron Systems Aerosonde UAS Program is designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations and equipped for simultaneous day/night full-motion video, communications relay, signals intelligence and a customer-selected payload in a single flight. Its value has been proven in the military with over 650,000 flight hours, including desert heat and Arctic cold, but its incursion into public safety is something new.

“We saw the value in offering integrating services for such a dynamic fixed wing aircraft,” Joshua stated. “Any large corporation or public safety agency can now have access to this military-grade autonomous flight vehicle without having to incur the extra cost of creating its own integration program. Icarus Aerospace can do that for them with the backing of the manufacturer. Our innovative approach to data collection enables multiple industries to have a faster, safer, and more cost-efficient way of deploying aerial operations.”

For the past few years, we have seen public safety agencies purchasing and implementing UAV programs with insufficient or inadequate technology. Now with this strategic alliance between two American companies, governments and businesses can have access to advanced technology with the certainty that the asset will be deployed in a professional and efficient manner. When seconds matter, the marriage of Textron’s Aerosonde and Icarus’ program management solutions will save more lives and make flight operations more cost effective in the process.