AeroVironment has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to provide ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) services with its JUMP 20 medium-sized unmanned aerial systems (UAS). These services include the deployment of the first SATCOM-enabled UAS for BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations. The contract includes a 12-month period of performance, with multiple follow-on option years for ISR services.
The AeroVironment JUMP 20 is the first vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) fixed-wing drone to be deployed extensively in support of U.S. military forces. Ideal for multi-mission operations, it provides 14+ hours of endurance, a standard operational range of 185 km (115 mi) and is runway independent. The system can be set up and operational in less than 60 minutes without the need for launch or recovery equipment and has a useable payload capacity of up to 30 pounds. The JUMP 20 also features a common autopilot and ground control system architecture, resulting in a highly customizable, modular platform.
Gorik Hossepian, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager for medium UAS, commented: “The JUMP 20 delivers an unmatched level of versatility, with runway and infrastructure independence, multiple payload configurations, class-leading endurance and a track record of reliability and ruggedness. The inclusion of a SATCOM payload adds beyond line of sight operation to the JUMP 20, providing our customer with expanded reach and situational awareness, and representing another game-changing, market-leading capability.”