U.S Army Awards $16million UAV Contract To AeroVironment
12:00 AM, September 6, 2012
AeroVironment has won a $16 million contract from the United States Army with a total projected value of $65 million for the supply of RQ-11B Raven systems, new miniature gimbaled payloads and initial spares packages. Delivery of systems, spares and payloads is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2013. Weighing 450 grams, the ruggedized, multi-axis Mantis i23 payload for the Raven system houses an electro-optical and infrared thermal video sensor in addition to a laser illuminator. The single payload replaces two separate sensor payloads on the Raven air vehicle, delivering daytime and nighttime capabilities from a single package. “The Army is quickly and easily integrating the new miniature gimbaled payload into the Raven systems because of its reliability in providing superior imagery and tracking capability in harsh environments,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “We anticipate our new payload, an example of our focus on continuous and cost-effective capability enhancement for the warfighter, will become a standard component of currently fielded and future Raven systems”. The RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft system is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery wirelessly to a portable ground control station for "over the hill" and "around the corner" reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units.