AeroVironment receives $20M for gimbaled sensor payloads

The U.S. Army recently placed an order for $20 million worth of AeroVironment’s Mantis i23 gimbaled sensor payloads to upgrade its fleet of RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft systems.

The Mantis is a multi-axis pan, tilt and zoom sensor that enhances the capability of the small, hand-launched RQ-11B Raven. AeroVironment says U.S. government fiscal 2013 appropriations provided funding for the $19,984,999 order under an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract awarded in December 2012. The order was the result of a competitive bid, and delivery is scheduled within 12 months.

“Since delivering the first Raven system to the Army nearly ten years ago, we have remained relentlessly focused on ensuring that our customers have the most capable, reliable and effective tactical UAS available,” Roy Minson, general manager of the AeroVironment’s UAS business segment, said in a statement. “The Army’s Raven system, with AeroVironment’s rugged gimbaled sensor payload and the recent digital data link upgrade of its entire fleet, is a modern tool for gaining superiority on the battlefield.”

The U.S. Department of Defense says there are more than 5,000 Raven UAS currently in the field.

[ photo courtesy of AeroVironment Inc. ]