AeroVironment has received a contract to supply initial RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to undisclosed allied military forces.
Awarded by the US Army, the $18.4m firm-fixed-price contract requires the company to deliver RQ-11B Raven UAS, spare parts and contractor logistics services to seven allies through the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme.
AeroVironment Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment vice-president and general manager Kirk Flittie said: "Allied forces around the globe are increasingly relying on AeroVironment as the go-to source for small UAS that deliver powerful insight, on demand for valuable, real-time situational awareness - whenever and wherever needed.
"Our systems help military personnel and enterprises operate more safely and effectively in some of the most challenging conditions and places on earth."
Weighing 4.2lbs, RQ-11B Raven is a lightweight remote-controlled UAS, and is designed for rapid deployment and high-mobility for military applications requiring low-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Comprising three aircraft, ground control units, and spares, the backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform has a wingspan of 4.5ft, and provides aerial observation, day or night, at line-of-sight ranges up to approximately 10km.
Operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation, the drone comes with an optional stabilised gimbaled payload, and delivers real-time colour or infrared imagery to ground control and remote viewing stations.
The Raven is used by the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Special Operations Command, as well as the Royal Danish Army, and the Netherlands military.
Additional contract details, including the number of units ordered and their delivery schedule remains undisclosed.
Image: A US soldier prepares to launch the Raven unmanned aerial vehicle in Patika Province, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of sergeant 1st class Michael Guillory.