U.S. Navy Awards AeroVironment $2.5 Million Contract for Continuation and Expansion of Blackwing UAS Program

October 09, 2017
  • Order including multiple Blackwing™ vehicles, sensor payloads and refurbishment kits to be delivered by November 2018
  • Blackwing delivering valuable new capabilities to naval undersea warfare since first deployed last year

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for both military and commercial applications, today announced the receipt of a contract award from the United States Navy on September 29, 2017, for continuation and expansion of its Blackwing™ small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) program. The contract includes orders for multiple Blackwing vehicles, sensor payloads and refurbishment kits for a total value of $2,578,822. The initial set of vehicles are anticipated for delivery by May 2018, and final delivery anticipated by November 2018.

Blackwing is a small, tube-launched unmanned aircraft that employs an advanced, miniature electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) payload, integrated inertial/GPS autopilot system and secure Digital Data Link (DDL), all packaged into a vehicle that launches from under the surface of the sea, from manned submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

“Since first being deployed just a few months ago, Blackwing has delivered valuable new capabilities to United States naval undersea warfare units,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “This contract is consistent with the Navy’s plans to resupply existing vessels and equip additional submarines with the Blackwing capability.”

Blackwing builds on AeroVironment’s extensive operational experience with small UAS and its Switchblade® Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) to provide the Navy with a low-cost, submarine-launched UAS optimized for denied environments. AeroVironment developed the Blackwing system as part of a 2013 Navy and United States Pacific Command (PACOM) sponsored Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration (JCTD) called Advanced Weapons Enhanced by Submarine UAS against Mobile targets (AWESUM). This JCTD was completed in September 2015 with a strong recommendation to transition the capability into the fleet.

“Blackwing can also be integrated with and deployed from a wide variety of surface vessels and mobile ground vehicles to provide rapid response reconnaissance capabilities to help warfighters proceed with certainty, even in the most challenging settings, helping to ensure safe and successful missions,” Flittie said.

“AeroVironment’s small UAS – including Raven®, Puma™ AE and Wasp® AE, as well as Switchblade® loitering missile and its variants – continue proving their life-saving value with U.S. forces and increasingly with our allies around the world as our international footprint grows. We now count more than 40 countries outside of the U.S. as customers for our family of small UAS,” he added.

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) awarded this contract to AeroVironment, the only manufacturer of the Blackwing UAS, on a sole source basis in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) guidelines.

Visit AeroVironment at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Expo from October 9–11:

  • Booth #201
  • Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC.

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, tactical missile systems and electric vehicle charging and test systems, and serves militaries, government agencies, businesses and consumers. 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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AeroVironment, Inc.
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Mark Boyer
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