AeroVironment wins $23.9 million contract for U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps digital raven systems

  • 12:00 AM, December 22, 2009
  • 2714
AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) today announced that it received a $23,926,917 firm fixed-price order under an existing contract. This contract modification comprises digital Raven systems and kits to upgrade existing analog Raven systems currently being used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps with AV’s digital data link. “We began deliveries of digital Raven systems at the end of October, and are increasing production in response to customer demand,” said John Grabowsky, AV executive vice president and general manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “Our digital data link uses the frequency spectrum allocated to small UAS much more efficiently than the analog link it replaces. “As a result, digital Raven systems allow our customers to increase significantly the number of Raven air vehicles that can be used in a given area, as well as provide greater communication security through signal encryption, and enable valuable new capabilities such as beyond line-of-site operation. Digital Raven systems will directly benefit ground forces by helping them operate more effectively and safely, wherever and whenever they need them”. Full funding for this contract modification was provided by a United States Department of Defense supplemental funding bill. The total potential value of this order is $66.6 million, of which $42.7 million is not yet funded but has been added to the maximum potential value of the contract supporting this program. The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection. In addition to the Raven system, AV’s small UAS include Puma AE and Wasp, which are also hand-launched and controlled by AV’s hand-held ground control station. Each aircraft in AV’s family of small UAS is interoperable and tailored to address a variety of operational user needs. AV’s UAS logistics operation supports systems deployed worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness. AV has delivered thousands of small unmanned aircraft to date. International purchasers of Raven systems include Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain.
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