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AeroVironment supplying small UAS to Australia

AeroVironment has formally signed contracts to deliver its small Wasp unmanned aerial system to Australia.

By Richard Tomkins
AeroVironment supplying small UAS to Australia
The Wasp AE weighs just 2.8 pounds and is hand-launched. Photo courtesy of Australian Defense Force

July 25 (UPI) -- UAS-manufacturer AeroVironment formally signed contracts on Tuesday to deliver its Wasp AE unmanned aerial system to the Australian Defense Force, the company announced on Tuesday.

The WASP UAS will be delivered over a three-year period AeroVironment, with Australian partner XTEK, will provide local maintenance, training and field support for the aircraft.

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"This contract to supply Wasp AE small UAV systems to support the Australian Defense Force is the result of 10 years of work with XTEK and the Commonwealth, including thorough operational testing, bringing small UAS compatible with the US operations to Australia, and adding capabilities from Australian companies," David Sharpin, vice-president of AeroVironment's Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems business unit, said at a signing ceremony in Australia.

"This collaboration reflects the unwavering commitment of all four companies and the ADF to support and protect the dedicated members of the Australian armed forces with the best UAS capabilities available in the world today -- to help them proceed with certainty and ensure successful missions."

The WASP AE is a small reconnaissance and surveillance UAS that weighs just 2.8 pounds. It is launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or water.

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AeroVironment said it is working closely with Australian partners XTEK, General Dynamics Mediaware and Sentient Vision to provide Wasp AE with Australian content to meet both ADF and Australia industry needs.

The Awarding of the Wasp contract was first announced last June. Delivery of the systems begins next July.

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