AeroVironment Soars Into $12-million Drone Contract with ‘Middle East Ally’

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Source: AeroVironment

AeroVironment must feel like a star athlete.

The California-based drone systems provider just snagged a two-year, $12 million contract worthy of a top NFL running back.

The company announced the agreement with an unnamed “major Middle Eastern ally” for support of the nation’s existing fleet of AeroVironment’s Puma AE and Raven B tactical drones.

“Our customers require reliable, rugged and combat-proven tactical unmanned aircraft systems that defense and security personnel can deploy immediately from their rucksacks without the need for runways or other launch logistics,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for AeroVironment.

“This order builds on our fast-growing international customer base as more allied forces rely on our innovative systems to proceed with certainty on the frontlines.”

In April, AeroVironment captured a similar $17 million deal with another unnamed nation. Last year, the company garnered a $5.9 million contract from the Portuguese army, encompassing the procurement of Raven unmanned aircraft systems equipped with Mantis i23 sensors and pocket Remote Video Terminals.

In 2014, AeroVironment made domestic-drone history when the Puma became the first domestic model to garner FAA approval for commercial use. The agency gave AeroVironment permission to use a Puma drone to survey pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.

Raven B

  • Hand-launched, fixed-wing vehicle for aerial observation, day or night, at line-of-sight range of at least 6.2 miles; 4.5-foot wingspan, 4.2 pounds.
  • Designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for low-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Stabilized gimbaled payload delivers real-time color or infrared imagery to ground control and remote viewing stations.

Puma AE

  • Hand-launched, fixed-wing vehicle; operates for up to 2.5 hours at line-of sight range of 12.4 miles with a standard antenna, and up to 37.3 miles with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna.
  • Wingspan of 9.2 feet, 15 pounds; capable of landing in water or on land.
  • Mantis i45 sensor suite “empowers the operator with extended flight time and a level of imaging capability never before available in the small UAS class.”



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