Drone Aviation Holding Corp., a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, has announced that it has been awarded a contract to upgrade existing U.S. Government-owned Winch Aerostat Small Platform (“WASP”) tactical aerostat systems from Department of Defense (DoD) prime contractor BAE Systems.
The upgrade contract, valued at $194,000, includes a number of technical enhancements to the WASP systems currently owned and operated by a DoD customer. These upgrades will enable enhanced flight operations and greater payload flexibility as a result of an upgraded APIU (Aerial Payload Interface Unit) specially designed to support a wide variety of payloads including advanced video and communications systems. This current upgrade award from BAE follows a recent award earlier this month for multiple WASP Gen 2 systems for a new DoD customer.
“The second generation WASP is the result of our DoD-focused strategy with continuing improvements from extensive field tests and operational feedback from soldiers, our military customers and our team over the past few years. The Gen 2 system enhances an already highly capable platform that is redefining the roll of modern, mobile, tethered tactical aerostats. With its new capabilities, the WASP can provide enhanced force protection, situational awareness and communications range extension in a single, compact, cost-effective solution that can be operated nearly anywhere by just a few operators,” said Jay Nussbaum, Chairman of Drone Aviation Holding Corp. “Our goal over the next few months is to support the increased interest in the WASP by the military and assist our allies in combating the growing incidence of terrorism and armed conflicts now taking place around the world.”
Over the past 3 years, the U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed operations in multiple DoD exercises including Army Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) 14.1, 14.2, 16.1 where WASP has been utilized by the U.S. Army as a tactical battlefield solution that can support ground based soldiers, armor, and air assets through comms retransmissions. Operating at altitudes up to 1,500 feet AGL with launch sites at 6,000 feet ASL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities and communications in remote and austere locations. The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads.