U.S. Army orders AeroVironment RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft systems, new payload

Raven UAS

MONROVIA, Calif., 4 June 2012. AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) won a U.S. Army order for its RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial systems (UAS), new miniature gimbaled payloads, and initial spares packages. Delivery of systems, spares, and payloads is scheduled for completion by 30 April 2013.

AeroVironment’s Mantis line of miniature gimbaled sensor payloads includes the ruggedized, 450-gram, multi-axis Mantis i23. It houses an electro-optical and infrared thermal video sensor and a laser illuminator. The single payload replaces two separate sensor payloads on the Raven air vehicle, delivering daytime and nighttime capabilities.

The RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft system is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery wirelessly to a portable ground control station for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems for such missions as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning, and force protection. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations, and spares.

“The U.S. Army has more than 1,700 Raven systems in its inventory with an ultimate goal of more than 2,300 systems,” says Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “The new miniature gimbaled payload is the latest example of cost-effective improvements that will benefit soldiers directly through enhanced situational awareness.”


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