AeroVironment, based in Monrovia, Calif., received a $6.9 million order from the U.S. Air Force under an existing contract with the U.S. Army for new digital Raven small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and initial spares packages. The systems and spares packages are scheduled for delivery within the next several months.
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.
The Air Force Security Forces plan to employ Raven systems to enhance situational awareness and security at bases worldwide. This initial order will provide systems for training of Air Force personnel to support broader deployment.
"Real-time aerial video from small unmanned aircraft systems has proven invaluable to warfighters on the battlefield, and can similarly benefit Security Forces at Air Force bases," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems. "For a fraction of the cost of larger unmanned aircraft systems, Raven, Puma and Wasp systems deliver situational awareness directly to the troops who need it, helping them operate more effectively and saving lives. With our customers looking for ways to do more with much less, small UAS provide tremendous value at a relatively low cost."