The U.S. Army is upgrading its fleet of RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) through a new $20 million order for Mantis i23 gimbaled sensor payloads from AeroVironment.
(AeroVironment's RQ-11B Raven. Photo, courtesy of AeroVironment.)
The Mantis i23 upgrade will allow the Army's Raven operators to pan, tilt and zoom with uninterrupted video imagery for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions. Delivery of the new payload enhanced Ravens aircraft is scheduled within 12 months, according to AeroVironment.
Most Raven systems used by the Army consist of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares, which are typically used to provide "over the hill" reconnaissance for tactical units.
"The Army’s Raven system, with AeroVironment’s rugged gimbaled sensor payload and the recent digital data link upgrade of its entire fleet, is a modern tool for gaining superiority on the battlefield," said Roy Minson, senior vice president and general manager of the UAS business segment at AeroVironment.
Related: Unmanned Systems News