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February 1st, 2011

AeroVironment... USMC Recipient Of Modular Moments For Ravens (UAV/UAS)

Soldier launches a Raven UAS, photo courtesy of AeroVironment.
[SatNews] AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ:AVAV) has received a firm fixed-price order valued at $7,800,003 under an existing contract with the U.S. Army for 919 digital module upgrade kits for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The upgrade kits allow digital Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate using a different frequency band than provided by the stock configuration. Funding for this order was appropriated for RQ-11B Raven system procurement in the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in December 2009. Work is scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2011. The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for "over the hill" and "around the corner" reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares. In addition to the Raven system, AV's small UAS include Puma™ and Wasp™, which are also hand-launched and controlled by AV's hand-held ground control station. Each aircraft in AV's family of small UAS is interoperable and tailored to address a variety of operational user needs.