Air Force to use Ravens for base security

Sept. 28, 2011 at 6:56 AM
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MONROVIA, Calif., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Raven unmanned aircraft systems are being provided to the U.S. Air Force to enhance situational awareness and security at bases worldwide.

California company AeroVironment, Inc. said the firm-fixed-price order, worth more than $6.8 million, came under an existing contract with the U.S. Army.

The order comprises new digital Raven small unmanned aircraft systems and initial spares packages. The systems and spares packages are scheduled for delivery within the next several months.

This initial order will provide systems for training of Air Force personnel to support broader deployment of the Ravens, AeroVironment said.

"Real-time aerial video from small unmanned aircraft systems has proven invaluable to warfighters on the battlefield and can similarly benefit security forces at Air Force bases," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

"For a fraction of the cost of larger unmanned aircraft systems, Raven, Puma and Wasp systems deliver situational awareness directly to the troops who need it, helping them operate more effectively and saving lives."

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.

Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares.

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