AeroVironment Introduces Digital Wasp AE Small Unmanned Aircraft System, Announces U.S. Air Force Program Acceptance, $2.5 Million Order
May 22, 2012
- Next generation Wasp system adds all environment, enhanced payload and digital data link capabilities
- U.S. Air Force accepts Wasp AE for BATMAV Program, places $2.5 million order
TAMPA, Fla., At SOFIC, May 22, 2012 -- AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) today introduced the Wasp AE® small unmanned aircraft system and announced that it has been accepted by the U.S. Air Force for inclusion in its Battlefield Air Targeting Micro Air Vehicle (BATMAV) program. Inclusion into the BATMAV program enabled the Air Force to place an order for Wasp AE systems valued at $2,447,949.
The Air Force conducted rigorous engineering and user assessments of Wasp AE over a one-year period to ensure compliance with the requirements of the BATMAV program. The successful completion of these assessments and the resulting acceptance supports Wasp AE procurement by other U.S. Department of Defense customers.
The Wasp AE represents the continuing evolution of the Wasp small UAS, which was previously adopted by the Air Force and Marine Corps for small unit tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Designed with AeroVironment's digital data link, Wasp AE is interoperable with the company's digital Puma®, Raven®, Shrike VTOL® and portable ground control station, and is capable of encrypted communication, beyond line-of-sight operation and voice, video, text and data relay.
Wasp AE also incorporates the smallest of AeroVironment's Mantis® suite of miniature gimbaled payloads, the 275 gram Mantis i22 AE, giving operators both color 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 prior Wasp.
"Wasp AE completes our fully digital family of small unmanned aircraft systems and incorporates the advanced capabilities of Puma and Raven into a smaller, lighter and more portable package for rapid deployment and minimal logistics support," said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. "The United States government and our own mission services team are using Wasp AE systems effectively. We believe that other military and non-military customers in the United States and abroad will find Wasp AE a compelling solution to support their tactical operations."
About AeroVironment's Family of Small UAS
RQ-11B Raven™, Wasp AE®, RQ-20A Puma® and Shrike VTOL® comprise AeroVironment's Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units and security personnel. AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce. AeroVironment has delivered thousands of new and replacement small unmanned air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than a dozen international governments.
The Qube® small UAS is tailored to law enforcement, first response and other public safety missions. Small enough to fit easily in the trunk of a car, the Qube system can be unpacked, assembled and ready for flight in less than five minutes, giving the operator a rapidly deployable eye in the sky at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and large unmanned aircraft.
The Mantis® line of commercially available gimbals delivers lightweight, compact visual awareness solutions designed to satisfy demanding requirements. Each Mantis 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.
About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides customers with more actionable intelligence so they can proceed with certainty. Based in California, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems and tactical missile systems, and serves defense, government and commercial customers. For more information visit www.avinc.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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