Australian Armed Forces to Adopt AeroVironment’s Wasp AE sUAS

By Caroline Rees / 06 Sep 2016
AeroVironment Wasp AE sUAS

Image courtesy AeroVironment, Inc.

AeroVironment, Inc. is to team with Australia-based XTEK, Sentient Vision and General Dynamics (GD) Mediaware to deliver AeroVironment’s Family of Unmanned Aircraft Systems to the Australian market. The team will offer the AeroVironment Wasp AE Micro Air Vehicle, designated as the RQ-12A by the U.S. Department of Defense, to the Australian Armed Forces.

“Teaming with XTEK, Sentient and General Dynamics Mediaware for delivery and sustainment is key to ensuring our customer’s success as its forces rely on the advanced, versatile and life-saving capabilities of our Wasp AE systems to proceed with certainty,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

“Wasp AE is an all-environment small unmanned aircraft system designed for reliable and effective operation in real-world environments,” said Flittie. “It enhances our fully digital family of small unmanned aircraft systems and incorporates the advanced capabilities of Puma AE™ and Raven® into a smaller, lighter and more portable package for rapid deployment and minimal logistics support.”

Each Wasp AE system consists of two air vehicles and one ground control system (GCS). “It delivers – in a man-packable asset – exceptional features of superior imagery, increased endurance, encrypted video and ease of use that is inherent in all AeroVironment UAS solutions,” Flittie said.

The 2.8-pound (1.3 kilograms) MAV has a 29-inch wingspan and is designed for ground and water landing, making it suitable for both land and maritime missions. It carries interchangeable payload modules and 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.

Operating virtually undetected, Wasp AE’s mechanically stabilized EO/IR gimbal payload transmits advanced imagery, even in windy conditions, for mission effectiveness. It also features hand-launch capabilities, with a deep-stall landing in confined areas on land or water. It further can be operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation using the system’s advanced avionics and precise GPS navigation.

Wasp AE is operated from AeroVironment’s time-tested and proven GCS with a communications range of 5 km and flight endurance of 50 minutes. 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.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact