AAI Corporation

AAI Corporation

AAI Corporation is an aerospace and defense development and manufacturing firm in Hunt Valley, Maryland. It is wholly owned subsidiary of United Industrial Corporation, which was acquired by Textron in 2007. AAI employs more than 2,000 and reports annual sales in excess of USD$560 million.


AAI Corporation, is an international provider of high-technology products and services for aerospace and defense. The company’s products include unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), training and simulation systems, automated test and maintenance equipment, armament systems, aviation ground support equipment, logistical and engineering services, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. Its subsidiaries include AAI Services Corporation, Aerosonde Pty Ltd., Aerosonde North America Incorporated, ESL Defence Limited, McTurbine Inc., and Symtx, Inc.

The company’s customers include the United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DoD) and its prime contractors, allied foreign government ministries of defense, and other United States federal agencies.

AAI and UIC are headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland.


AAI Corporation originated as Aircraft Armaments, Inc. in August 1950. Six aviation and defense industry professionals founded the company to address the needs of post-World War II America for innovative defense systems. The company’s unique value proposition was its ability to handle the design, development, and manufacturing of these systems in-house.

In the late 1950’s, the company was renamed AAI Corporation to more accurately reflect its diverse product lines and capabilities. AAI’s parent company, United Industrial Corporation (UIC), was originally founded as Hayes Body Corporation in the early 1900’s. Renamed many years later, UIC was admitted into the New York Stock Exchange for trading on December 15, 1964.

AAI has since grown into an international leader in aerospace and defense products and services. AAI now owns or occupies more than convert|1100000|sqft|m2 of office and manufacturing space across the U.S., United Kingdom (U.K.), and Australia. Its employees number more than 2,500 across all locations, with more than 1,400 at AAI’s Hunt Valley headquarters.

Products & services

Unmanned systems

AAI is one of a limited number of companies engaged in the design and full-rate production of a successfully fielded, operational UAS for the DoD. AAI first began development work on the unmanned systems product line in 1985, winning a competitive fly-off with its Pioneer Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV).

Today, AAI is a full-service UAS provider with over 20 years of experience designing, producing, testing, fielding, and supporting a complete family of advanced tactical unmanned aircraft systems - the RQ-7 Shadow, Shadow 200, Shadow 400, and Shadow 600 systems - throughout the world. Worldwide, as of July, 2007, Shadow systems have flown more than 300,000 flight hours [ [http://www.aaicorp.com/corporate/press/may08uas300,000.html "AAI’s Shadow® Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Reach 300,000 Flight Hours"] 19 May, 2008] and 47,000 sorties — with more than 88 percent of those hours in support of U.S. and allied combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company’s UAS capabilities have likewise expanded with additional product development and the 2006 acquisition of Australian UAS manufacturer Aerosonde Pty. Ltd.

AAI has also developed an interoperable network of common ground control systems — the One System Ground Control Station, the One System Portable Ground Control Station and the One System Remote Video Terminal. These systems are utilized in support of the Shadow TUAS, as well as other unmanned systems.


AAI Services Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Corporation. The company provides a variety of engineering, logistical, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services that complement AAI’s key product platforms, as well as those of other original equipment manufacturers.

Its customers include the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, for which the company supports a wide variety of operational systems. AAI Services also provides depot maintenance equipment and services to domestic and international military aviation customers.

In 2006, the company expanded its capabilities with the acquisition of McTurbine Inc. (Corpus Christi, Texas), a leader in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul of military helicopter engines.

Test systems

AAI’s test systems are used by every branch of the U.S. military. The Joint Systems Electronic Combat Systems Tester (JSECST) is part of the DoD’s family of testers and currently supports flight-line EW testing for several U.S. military aircraft.

The company’s Advanced Boresight Equipment (ABE) systems are used to align avionics and weapons systems onboard military aircraft and helicopters. AAI also produces radar simulators that realistically simulate varied threat signals to test the functionality of radar warning receivers and cockpit displays and controls.

AAI acquired ESL Defence Limited in 2005. Based in the U.K., ESL designs and manufactures electro-optical, infrared, and ultraviolet test and simulation/stimulation products for use on flight lines, in aircraft maintenance facilities, and at military test and evaluation ranges.

In 2006, AAI also acquired Symtx, Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of high-performance functional automated test equipment (ATE) for mission-critical systems such as satellites and electronic systems.

Training systems

AAI’s training systems are utilized by U.S. and allied international military customers. The company’s capabilities include design, production, upgrading, and support of customized training environments, systems, and subsystems that teach war fighters the necessary skills to perform their missions.

Products include naval, EW, air defense, radar, and UAS training systems.

Advanced programs

AAI’s Advanced Programs unit primarily investigates and responds to new and emerging customer needs and markets. The company is currently working on the U.S. Army’s Lightweight Small Arms Technologies project. It has also developed the Projectile Detecting and Cueing (PDCue) and Target Detection and Cueing (TDCue) systems for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. AAI Advanced Programs-Mississippi also partners with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for development of new aviation ground support technologies.


External links

* [http://www.textronsystems.com Textron Systems] (AAI Corporation’s parent company)
* [http://www.aaicorp.com AAI Corporation and AAI Services Corporation] (wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Corporation)
* [http://www.aerosonde.com Aerosonde Pty Ltd.] (wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Corporation)
* [http://www.esldefence.com ESL Defence Limited] (wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Corporation)
* [http://www.mcturbine.com McTurbine Inc.] (wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Services Corporation)
* [http://www.symtx.com Symtx, Inc.] (wholly owned subsidiary of AAI Corporation)

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