By Kalwinder Kaur
AeroVironment recently declared that the United States Army has offered the company with a $15,813,406 firm fixed-price authorization to perform on May 22, 2012.
U.S. Army orders AeroVironment's RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system with its new multi-axis electro-optical and infrared video payload sensor (Photo: Business Wire)
The company has achieved an initial portion of a contract action from the U.S. Army with an overall projected value of $65,889,191. The order consists of a RQ-11B Raven systems, initial spares packages, and new miniature gimbaled payloads. The Army’s fiscal 2012 procurement budget has provided funds. The systems, spares and payloads are scheduled to be delivered by April 30, 2013.
During the Army Aviation Association of America symposium in Nashville, Tennessee, AeroVironment introduced its Mantis line of miniature gimbaled sensor payloads on April 1, 2012. The ruggedized, multi-axis Mantis i23 with 450 g weight accommodates a laser illuminator, infrared thermal video sensor, and an electro-optical. The Raven air vehicle includes a single payload that operates efficiently instead of two separate sensor payloads. A single package ensures effective daytime and nighttime capabilities.
Weighing only 4.2-lb, the RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft system is a backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform ensuring wireless day and night, real-time video imagery to a portable ground control station. It is found to be effective for ‘around the corner’ and ‘over the hill’ reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition for tactical units. Raven systems has been deployed by the U.S. armed forces for carrying out major missions including force protection, base security, mission planning and route reconnaissance. Each Raven system generally includes two ground control stations, three aircraft as well as spares.