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AeroVironment announces new Wasp AE order

24th January 2013 - 15:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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AeroVironment will supply its Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) to support an as yet unspecified US Marine Corps requirement under a contract announced on 23 January. The $12 million contract follows on from an award last September to Par Government Systems for the project and will see the UAS delivered within the next four months.

The company will deliver Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft systems, initial spares packages, training services, and one year of contractor logistics support under the contract. Wasp AE incorporates the smallest of AeroVironment’s Mantis suite of miniature gimballed payloads, the 275 gram Mantis i22 AE, giving operators both colour and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package. Weighing 2.8 pounds (1.3 kilograms), the Wasp AE air vehicle is designed for ground and water landing, making it suitable for both land and maritime missions, and is capable of 20 percent greater flight duration than the Wasp III.

Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment, said: ‘We introduced the Wasp AE in May of 2012 with the expectation that multiple customers would find its capabilities very compelling. These contracts supporting the United States Marine Corps expand the adoption of Wasp AE beyond the air force, and support our view that this highly capable successor to the proven Wasp III system will help our customers operate more safely and effectively.’

The contract was awarded by NAVAIR’s Program Office for Navy & Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263), working collaboratively with the US Army’s Counter-IED Program Office.

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