AeroVironment has announced that its Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft system has been selected by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The ADF Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract calls for the delivery of Wasp AE systems over a three-year period, as well as training and logistics support for up to ten years, for a total contract value of up to USD $36.5 million.
“Wasp AE provides all environment situational awareness in a highly portable package,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Along with our Australian partners XTEK, GD Mediaware and Sentient, we look forward to supporting and protecting ADF forces with the industry’s leading small UAS capabilities.”
AeroVironment is working closely with Australian partners XTEK, GD Mediaware and Sentient Vision to provide WASP AE, a proven capability in service with militaries around the world, which will then be modified with Australian content to meet both ADF and Australia industry needs. XTEK and AeroVironment will provide local maintenance, training and field support to serve the immediate needs of ADF while expanding AeroVironment’s global support capabilities.
The Wasp AE weighs 2.8 pounds, operates for up to 50 minutes at a range of up to five kilometers and delivers live, streaming color and infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom Mantis i22 AE gimbaled payload. Launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or in fresh or salt water, the Wasp AE provides portability and flexibility for infantry, littoral or maritime reconnaissance operations.