U.S. Air Force awards contract to AeroVironment for Raven RQ-11B small unmanned aircraft systems

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 2 October that it had awarded a $13 million contract for the Raven RQ-11B small unmanned aircraft systems.

According to the DoD’s statement, the AeroVironment Inc. has been awarded a $13 million contract, for Raven RQ-11B small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS).

This contract satisfies recurring requirements for RQ-11B SUAS, spares kits, ancillary equipment, and recurring related training.  The location of performance is U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility which includes Central America, South America and the Caribbean nations.

Also, DoD said that the work is expected to be completed by Sept. 28, 2023.

According to the AeroVironment, the Raven RQ-11B is the most widely used unmanned aircraft system in the world today. It is a lightweight solution designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for military applications requiring low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence.

Range 10 km
Endurance 60-90 minutes
Speed 32-81 km/h, 17-44 knots
Operating Altitude (Typ.) 100-500 ft (30-152 m) AGL, 14,000 ft MSL max launch altitude
Wing Span 4.5 ft (1.4 m)
Length 3.0 ft (0.9 m)
Weight 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg)

Raven can be operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation, utilizing the system’s advanced avionics and precise GPS navigation. With a wingspan of 4.5 feet and a weight of 4.2 pounds, the hand-launched Raven provides aerial observation, day or night, at line-of-sight ranges up to 10 kilometers.

The Raven, now available with an optional stabilized gimbaled payload, delivers real-time color or infrared imagery to the ground control and remote viewing stations. AeroVironment’s common GCS interfaces with all of its tactical ISR air vehicles reducing the level of training required and decreasing the time and cost involved.

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ulises Perez, a supply clerk with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, operates the hand controller of a RQ-11B Raven Digital Data Link Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) during the Basic Operator Training Course on Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 12, 2018.

This article was originally published here

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