U.S. Air Force Takes Delivery of BATMAV Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems from AeroVironment
August 06, 2007
WASHINGTON, At AUVSI North America, Aug. 6, 2007 - AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ: AVAV), a leader in unmanned aircraft systems and efficient electric energy systems, today announced that the U.S. Air Force has recently taken delivery of its initial BATMAV micro unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which include the Wasp III air vehicle, as planned under the Air Force Beyond Line of Site (BLOS) program. AV received the BATMAV, or Battlefield Air Tactical Micro Air Vehicle, award in December 2006 after competing against a number of candidate systems. AV recently received orders for 30 systems through the program's indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract which provides for purchases of up to $45 million over a period of five years.
Wasp III has a wingspan of 29 inches, weighs 1 pound and carries integrated forward and side looking electro-optical color cameras as well as a modular forward or side-looking electro-optical or infrared payload. The system is backpackable and is capable of operating for up to 45 minutes at up to 5 kilometers from the transceiver. AV designed the system to support the Air Force's Battlefield Airman Operators Kit. Wasp III is a block III version of the Wasp micro UAS, which AV developed under a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
"We were proud to be selected by the Air Force to support this program of record, which is the first such program for a micro air vehicle. We are now eager to place new BATMAV systems into the hands of Air Force personnel on the battlefield so that they can operate more effectively and safely," said John Grabowsky, executive vice president and general manager of unmanned aircraft systems for AV. "While Wasp III weighs only 1 pound, it provides many advanced technologies proven to be of extraordinary value across U.S. military services. The Wasp III system can be operated with the same common ground control and user interface as AV's Raven and Puma small UAS. This IDIQ is designed to enable other U.S. armed services to order these systems through the BLOS program, in addition to facilitating the procurement of BATMAV systems by the Air Force."
The U.S. Armed Forces' broad adoption of small and micro UAS has been accelerated by their demonstrated force protection and force multiplier advantages. Each of AV's systems is backpackable, with aircraft that are hand-launched and act as sensor platforms to provide day and night, real-time video imagery to a common hand-held control unit used by tactical units for "over-the-hill" and "around-the-corner" reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.
AV has won three open competitions for U.S. Department of Defense small and micro UAS programs of record. As a result AV is the sole supplier of these small UAS to U.S. Army, Special Operations Command, Marine Corps and Air Force programs. To date, AV has produced more than 6,000 small and micro UAS including Raven, Dragon Eye, Puma and Wasp, and the U.S. Army alone has flown AV's Ravens for tens of thousands of hours in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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.
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