AeroVironment (AV), of Monrovia, Calif., received a $7.8 million order under an existing contract with the U.S. Army to provide 919 digital module upgrade kits for the Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The kits, provided to the U.S. Marine Corps, will allow the UASs to operate using a different frequency band than provided by the stock configuration. Work is scheduled to be completed in April.
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. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares, according to AeroVironment.