AeroVironment announced Wednesday that the Australian Defense Force (ADF) this month received and began training exercises with the company’s RQ-12 Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft system.
ADF placed an AUD $7.7 million order on Dec. 22, 2014 as part of Army Soldier Modernization Trial procurement. AeroVironment received the order from XTEK Limited on behalf of the ADF.
“The man packable Wasp AE unmanned aircraft system delivers powerful intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on demand and directly to small tactical units or an individual warfighter,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of the company’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.
Flittie added, “Increasingly, allied forces around the world are deploying our small unmanned aircraft systems for valuable, real-time situational awareness to help them operate more safely and effectively.”
The Wasp AE weighs 2.8 pounds, operates for up to 50 minutes at a range of up to five kilometers and delivers live, streaming color and infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom Mantis i22 AE gimbaled payload. Launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or in fresh or salt water, the Wasp AE provides portability and flexibility for infantry, littoral or maritime reconnaissance operations.