US-based Drone Aviation Holding Corporation (DRNE) has secured a multiple-unit contract to provide its winch aerostat small platform (WASP) system to the US Department of Defense (DoD).
Valued at more than $780,000, the deal requires the company to supply upgraded second-generation WASP systems to the US Army.
The new systems feature an expanded helium supply that supports extended deployment and operations for up to four weeks.
Equipped with a newly upgraded and modular aerial payload interface unit (APIU), the WASP supports interchangeable payloads, including advanced ISR / video / SIGINT and re-trans communication systems.
It also features a strengthened mooring system for improved launch and recovery operations.
DRNE chairman Jay Nussbaum said: "This DoD contract marks the latest milestone for the WASP which continues to demonstrate its unique capabilities and ability to meet evolving mission requirements.
"Having proven its capabilities through numerous army exercises, the WASP is building a strong reputation for value, both on the battlefield as well in its potential role in national security.
"With this generation of the WASP, we are moving this company from its development phase into a commercialisation stage focused on aerial products designed for the military and civilian commercial markets."
The WASP is a self-contained tactical aerostat system that enhances communications, reduce forward-positioning requirements for retransmissions, and facilitates operational dispersion.
The US Army uses the WASP to support ground-based soldiers and aerial retransmissions.
The WASP systems have successfully completed operations in a series of army network integration experiments (NIEs).
Image: The WASP is a mobile, tactical-sized aerostat capable of carrying a variety of payloads in support of military operations. Photo: courtesy of US Army.