U.S. Air Force Awards AeroVironment $4.2 Million Order for Switchblade Loitering Munition System
February 15, 2012
MONROVIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced it recently received an order from the United States Air Force for Switchblade loitering munition systems and services. The $4,167,777 extension to an existing contract includes engineering services, operational Switchblade systems and operator training. AeroVironment will work with ATK (NYSE: ATK), its munition subcontractor, to produce and deliver the systems.
AeroVironment also announced that it performed a successful series of live fire demonstrations for multiple U.S. government customers at a military facility in December 2011. The daytime and nighttime demonstrations further illustrated the unique capabilities of the Switchblade system to neutralize threats from a stand-off distance in a variety of operating environments.
The Switchblade loitering munition system launches from a small tube that can be carried in a backpack and transmits live color and infrared video wirelessly for display on AeroVironment's standard small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ground control unit. Upon confirming the target using the live video feed, the system operator then sends a command to the air vehicle to arm its payload and lock its trajectory onto the target. Switchblade flies quietly at high speed and delivers the effects of its onboard explosive payload with precision while minimizing collateral damage. The operator can call off a strike even after the Switchblade system is armed, providing a level of control not available in other weapon systems.
Instead of requiring support from weapon systems controlled by other operating units, troops can use the ground launched Switchblade variant to respond to enemy combatants with precision fire from a significant standoff distance, when and where required, representing a valuable new force protection capability.
"This order is another step on the path toward the broader adoption of Switchblade to protect our troops," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. "ATK is an outstanding partner whose expertise and can-do spirit are helping us refine Switchblade into a practical and affordable new solution for force protection and force multiplication."
"We are pleased to support AeroVironment and the U.S. Air Force as we validate further the breakthrough Switchblade system in real world conditions," said Mark Messick, vice president and general manager of Advanced Systems, ATK Aerospace Systems. "This award will enable significant progress in maturing the system for broader use."
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 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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