AeroVironment, of Monrovia, Calif., has been awarded a $12 million contract from NAVAIR’s Program Office for Navy & Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263), working collaboratively with the Army’s Counter-IED Program Office, for AeroVironment Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft systems, initial spares packages, training services, and one year of contractor logistics support.
“We introduced the Wasp AE in May of 2012 with the expectation that multiple customers would find its capabilities very compelling,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “These contracts supporting the United States Marine Corps expand the adoption of Wasp AE beyond the Air Force, and support our view that this highly capable successor to the proven Wasp III system will help our customers operate more safely and effectively.”
Wasp AE incorporates the smallest of AeroVironment’s Mantis suite of miniature gimbaled payloads, the 275 gram Mantis i22 AE, giving operators both color and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package. Weighing 2.8 pounds, the Wasp AE air vehicle is designed for ground and water landing, making it suitable for both land and maritime missions, and is capable of 20 percent greater flight duration than the Wasp III.