Dragon Eye was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for use by the US Marine Corps dismounted light troops to provide tactical reconnaissance and surveillance. As part of a full and open industry-wide competition, AV was selected to optimize the design for enhanced manufacturability and reliability. In November, 2003, following extensive field evaluations and competitive down-select by the customer, AV was awarded a 5-year, sole-supplier manufacturing contract for Dragon Eye.
The system operates autonomously, requires minimum training and captures either color, low-light black and white or infrared video. A bungee cord method is employed to provide rapid launch and ascent, and Dragon Eye is recovered by a conventional glide-slope approach landing. Dragon Eye is currently being manufactured by AV’s UAS group, and is being used by the USMC for light infantry, dismounted, and urban warfare.