The US Army has awarded an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to AeroVironment to support its Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Increment 1 programme.

The contract requires AeroVironment to deliver its JUMP 20 medium uncrewed aircraft system (MUAS) to an Army Brigade Combat Team (BCT), along with related services, training, and support.   

AeroVironment vice-president and MUAS product line general manager Gorik Hossepian said: “With Increment 1 of the FTUAS programme, the Army will be testing and fielding the JUMP 20 on an accelerated schedule.”

He added that through the FTUAS programme, the army plans to replace the RQ-7B Shadow UAS used by selected Brigade Combat Teams.

The JUMP 20 is a fixed-wing UAS that delivers more than 14 hours of endurance, an operational range of 115 miles, a payload capacity of over 30lb, and is runway independent.

The UAS’ vertical take-off and landing capability make it suitable for the US Army’s multi-mission operations.

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It also comprises a common autopilot and ground control system architecture. This enables the system to be custom configured to meet various needs.

The system can also be installed and operated without launch or recovery equipment in under 60 minutes.

Hossepian added: “Its ability to be deployed, operated, and sustained from anywhere is a game-changer in theatre and in situations where the enemy has invaded or destroyed infrastructure.”

In July 2021, AeroVironment won a competitive task order from the US Special Operations Command as part of the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems IV programme.