US Army orders Mantis i23 gimbaled sensor payloads
The US Army has ordered Mantis i23 gimbaled sensor payloads from AeroVironment for its fleet of RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The contract, worth $20 million, was announced on 2 October.
AeroVironment was awarded the contract following a competitive bid process, and will supply the payloads within 12 months.
The Mantis i23 payload will enhance the capabilities of the of the army’s RQ-11B Raven fleet. Each multi-axis pan, tilt and zoom sensor payload includes a daylight digital camera and infrared thermal imaging camera that are packaged to provide reliable operation in harsh environments, delivering uninterrupted video imagery.
Roy Minson, senior vice president and general manager, AeroVironment’s UAS business segment, said: ‘Since delivering the first Raven system to the army nearly ten years ago, we have remained relentlessly focused on ensuring that our customers have the most capable, reliable and effective tactical UAS available.
‘The army’s Raven system, with AeroVironment’s rugged gimbaled sensor payload and the recent digital data link upgrade of its entire fleet, is a modern tool for gaining superiority on the battlefield.’
The RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft system is a 4.5-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery wirelessly to a portable ground control station for ‘over the hill’ and ‘around the corner’ reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units.
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