AeroVironment has announced the formation of a joint venture to develop solar-powered high-altitude long-endurance, or HALE, UAS for commercial operations.
This category of UAS is also referred to as high-altitude pseudo-satellites, or HAPS. The joint venture will fund the development program up to a net maximum value of $65 million.
The joint venture, HAPSMobile, Inc., is a Japanese corporation that is 95 percent funded and owned by Japan-based telecommunications operator SoftBank Corp. and 5 percent funded and owned by AeroVironment, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
AeroVironment is committed to contribute $5 million in capital for its 5 percent ownership of the joint venture, and has an option to increase its ownership stake in HAPSMobile up to 19 percent at the same cost basis as its initial 5 percent purchase.