AeroVironment, Inc. announced Jan. 23 that NAVAIR’s Program Office for Navy & Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems, working collaboratively with the U.S. Army’s Counter-IED Program Office, awarded a contract Sept. 21, 2012, for AeroVironment Wasp® AE small unmanned aircraft systems, initial spares packages, training services and one year of contractor logistics support.
The team worked jointly to award the contract to PAR® Government Systems Corporation, which in turn secured the systems and services from AeroVironment for a total value of $12,032,430. Delivery was scheduled to occur within four months of contract award.
“We introduced the Wasp AE in May of 2012 with the expectation that multiple customers would find its capabilities very compelling,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “These contracts supporting the United States Marine Corps expand the adoption of Wasp AE beyond the Air Force, and support our view that this highly capable successor to the proven Wasp III system will help our customers operate more safely and effectively.”
Wasp AE 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, 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 Wasp III.