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Wasp AE sets sights on Australia

7th September 2016 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


AeroVironment will offer its Wasp AE UAS to the Australian Army and Special Forces, the company announced on 6 September.

The company has named a team for the Australian market including Australia’s XTEK, Sentient Vision and General Dynamics Mediaware.

Designated as the RQ-12A by the US Department of Defense, Wasp AE is designed to deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in both ground and maritime operations.

The man-packable system weighs 1.3kg, has a 29in wingspan and carries interchangeable payload modules. It incorporates the 275g Mantis i22 AE miniature gimbaled payload, giving operators both colour and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package.

Each Wasp AE system consists of two air vehicles and one ground control system. The system is land-launched and can undertake deep-stall landing in confined areas or land on water. It can be operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation using the system's advanced avionics and precise GPS navigation.

The UAS has a communications range of 5km and flight endurance of 50 minutes.

Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of UAS, AeroVironment, said: ‘Teaming with XTEK, Sentient and General Dynamics Mediaware for delivery and sustainment is key to ensuring our customer’s success as its forces rely on the advanced, versatile and life-saving capabilities of our Wasp AE systems to proceed with certainty.

‘Wasp AE is an all-environment small UAS designed for reliable and effective operation in real-world environments.’

The ADF undertook training exercises with the RQ-12 Wasp as part of an army soldier modernisation trial in 2015. The systems were supplied under an order received from XTEK, on behalf of the ADF.

The Shephard News Team


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