New payloads for WASP aerostat
The US Department of Defense's (DoD's) Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) tactical aerostats will now be capable of hosting simultaneous communications and optical payloads following the completion of integration work by Drone Aviation.
Drone Aviation integrated the government-furnished intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment under its most recent contract award from the US DoD.
WASP can now support multiple advanced communications and optical payloads simultaneously, expanding its mission flexibility to include a wider array of ISR support requirements. The upgraded payload system now also includes secure voice and data network range extension to over 30km. This secure communications range extension is made possible by encryption technology that enables the radio asset to be located at the Tactical Operations Center or other facility on the ground, rather than on the airborne aerostat.
WASP is currently being used by the DoD as a mobile, tactical aerial solution that can support various ISR mission profiles involving ground-based assets as well as aerial assets through communication retransmission.
Bruce Hardy, vice president of sales of Drone Aviation, said: 'Today's military and security forces are increasingly demanding persistent, mobile, small footprint tactical solutions that can do more without high acquisition costs and significant contractor logistical support, requirements that the WASP is uniquely able to meet.
'With completion of this latest integration contract, the WASP continues to demonstrate the platform's unmatched tactical ISR and communications capabilities and its unique ability to provide flexible mobile operations to meet the most demanding military mission requirements.'
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