|AeroVironment's RQ-12 Wasp AE to begin filling United States Marine Corps next generation family of systems micro UAS requirement. Photo: Businesswire
[Avionics Today 09-24-2014] AeroVironment has received a firm fixed-price order valued at more than $21 million for RQ-12 Wasp AE small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and initial spares packages for the United States Marine Corps.Ã¢â¬Â¨Ã¢â¬Â¨Previously procured by the Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, the Wasp AE weighs 2.8 pounds, operates for up to 50 minutes at a range of up to 5 kilometers and delivers live, streaming color and infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom Mantis i22 AE gimbaled payload. Launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or in fresh or salt water, the Wasp AE provides portability and flexibility for infantry, littoral or maritime reconnaissance operations.
The Marine Corps, which recently unveiled its next generation small UAS family of systems, is adding RQ-12 Wasp AE as the short-range, or micro, solution to the existing small UAS portfolio made up of the AeroVironment RQ-11B Raven and the RQ-20A Puma AE, which is the USMC’s long-range solution.
“We are confident that Wasp AE will provide deployed Marines with valuable situational awareness that will help them operate more safely and effectively,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its UAS business segment. Delivery is scheduled within 12 months.