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AeroVironment Unveils Quantix Recon, Fully-Automated Hybrid Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aircraft System for Defense Applications

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

• Quantix Recon delivers on-demand, georeferenced aerial imagery, providing quick visibility for on-site mission planning and verification

• Fully-Automated, hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) design and radio frequency silent mode enable aircraft to conduct missions undetected

• Powerful onboard processing delivers high-resolution imagery immediately on the included operating tablet upon landing – no other devices, internet or software required

AeroVironment’s new Quantix™ Recon, a fully-automated reconnaissance unmanned aircraft system.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., April 23, 2020 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced the availability of Quantix™ Recon, a lightweight, rapidly deployable, fully-automated reconnaissance solution that delivers high resolution, georeferenced terrain, vegetation and infrastructure imagery, providing ground forces with on-demand actionable intelligence.

With its unique hybrid VTOL design, Quantix Recon combines the vertical takeoff and landing advantages of a multirotor drone with the range, speed and efficiency of a fixed-wing unmanned aircraft. Featuring fully-automated flight operation, Quantix Recon surveys up to 1.6 square kilometers (0.6 square miles), or 20 linear kilometers (12.4 miles) per 45-minute single battery flight. Multiple automated reconnaissance mode options allow users to choose between line (route), area and waypoint targeted data capture. Collected aerial imagery data is compatible with a wide range of available geographic information system (GIS) analytical tools to facilitate further analysis.

“AeroVironment’s Quantix Recon is a low-cost reconnaissance solution that can be in the air within minutes, capturing high-resolution georeferenced imagery of hard to access areas or dynamically changing environments.” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for AeroVironment. “Because it does not rely on radio signals during flight, Quantix Recon offers greater stealth for concealed operations and is unaffected by radio frequency jammers, providing greater protection for frontline troops while reducing cognitive load.”

Powerfully simple to use, Quantix Recon is fully-automated and hands-free with five optional flight altitudes, ranging from 150 feet to 800 feet.  Simple, automated operation makes Quantix Recon easy for users to vary the coverage area and image resolution to suit their aerial reconnaissance needs.

Quantix Recon is equipped with dual 18-megapixel cameras that can capture both high resolution true color and multispectral georeferenced imagery. Powerful, on-board processing allows users to immediately view the high-resolution geospatial imagery on the included operating tablet as soon as the aircraft lands, requiring no other devices, internet or software. And, through the operating tablet’s Quick-Lookä HD app feature, users can pinch and zoom navigation down to centimeter-level ground sampling distance, enabling them to pinpoint and react to critical issues with precision and speed.

To learn more, visit www.avinc.com/Quantix-Recon, or view the recorded Quantix Recon Press Briefing at event.webcasts.com, using the password “QuantixRecon.”  

USArmy Awards AeroVironment $146 Million Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile Systems Contract Funded at $76 Million for First Year of Switchblade Systems Procurement

Friday, May 15th, 2020

·       AeroVironment’s combat proven Switchblade with patented wave-off feature provides operators with increased lethality, reach and precision strike capabilities with low collateral effects

·       First year of funding approved through Joint Urgent Operational Need Statement, reflecting high-priority requirement and strong user demand from the frontline

·       AeroVironment provides full system solution, including Switchblade systems, operator training, support and logistics

AeroVironment’s Switchblade is a back-packable, rapidly deployable, loitering precision strike missile designed for use against beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) targets, from either mobile positions in the field or from fixed defensive positions for base security.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., at vSOFIC, May 14, 2020 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced the receipt of a one-year, $75,930,901 funded contract award on April 30, 2020 from the United States Army for procurement of the company’s Switchblade® loitering missile system. The contract award was funded for the first year of procurement through a Joint Urgent Operational Need Statement from the United States Army Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) project office. Start of deliveries is anticipated by September 2020. Two additional one-year options, currently unfunded, would extend the period of performance through April 2023 on a sole-source basis.

“For nearly a decade, AeroVironment’s Switchblade has delivered unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities at the battlefield edge to the U.S. Army,” said Brett Hush, AeroVironment senior product line general manager of Tactical Missile Systems. “We will continue to enhance the capabilities of this battle-proven product, and stand ready with a proven supply chain and customer support system in order to respond effectively to U.S. and allied customers’ needs.”

AeroVironment’s combat proven Switchblade is back-packable and rapidly deployable from ground platforms including a 6-pack launcher, providing warfighters with rapid-response force protection and precision strike capabilities up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) from its launch location. Its high precision, combined with specialized effects and patented wave-off feature, results in Switchblade’s ability to minimize or even eliminate collateral damage.

Northrop Grumman is a key partner on the Switchblade system, providing single purpose and multimode warheads for the program.

Learn more about Switchblade at the AeroVironment, Industry Showcase at vSOFIC www.sofic.org/vsofic or at www.avinc.com/switchblade.

AeroVironment Awarded $2.6 Million Contract from U.S. Ally to Enhance Existing PumaTM Fleet with Puma LE Capabilities, Plus Existing Fleet Support

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

• Contract includes spares to support customer’s existing fleet of tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and adoption of Puma LE (Long Endurance)

• Puma LE provides Group 2 features in a Group 1 footprint, 5.5-hour endurance and

• Customer is one of more than 45 allied governments employing AeroVironment’s innovative family of tactical UAS

AeroVironment’s Puma LE tactical unmanned aircraft system is rapidly deployable and hand launchable with 5.5 hours of flight endurance and interoperable line-replaceable unit (LRU) components that can be shared with other Puma AE aircraft.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., at vSOFIC, May 12, 2020 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced that a U.S. ally and longtime customer awarded the company a firm-fixed- price contract valued at $2,685,057 on February 20, 2020 for AeroVironment’s recently introduced PumaTM LE. The order also included spares to support the customer’s existing fleet of AeroVironment tactical UAS. The contract award period of performance is one year.

“Puma LE is the newest member of our combat-proven family of tactical unmanned aircraft systems,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for AeroVironment. “Puma LE provides customers with Group 2 UAS endurance capabilities, nearly doubling the time on station of Puma 3, with cost savings and the footprint of a Group 1 unmanned aircraft.”

The AeroVironment Puma LE weighs only 22.5 pounds (10.4 kilograms), is launchable by hand or bungee and provides a dedicated secondary payload bay in addition to its Mantis i45 gimbaled EO/IR sensor. On-board batteries provide 5.5 hours of flight endurance with an operational range of 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) when used with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA). Puma LE’s economical dual- case mission pack contains everything needed to perform two complete 5.5-hour missions with a single aircraft and Ground Control System (GCS). Puma LE utilizes plug and play, interoperable line-replaceable unit (LRU) components that can be shared with other Puma AE aircraft.

AeroVironment’s family of tactical UAS comprises the majority of all unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) inventory and its rapidly growing international customer base numbers more than 45 allied governments.

Learn more about Puma LE by attending a virtual product presentation at vSOFIC www.sofic.org/vsofic, Tuesday, May 12th at 1 PM (EST) in the AeroVironment, Industry Showcase.

Fort Riley Brigade Combat Team Kicks Off Unmanned Aircraft System Assessment

Monday, April 13th, 2020

FORT RILEY, Kan. – The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division conducted the first Soldier-operated flight during the Army Futures Command-directed Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System capabilities assessment, April 7, 2020.

Announced in December 2019, the assessment will evaluate selected unmanned aircraft systems to define the capabilities needed in the next generation UAS for brigade combat teams.  Data gathered during the assessment will be critical to determining the requirements for the RQ-7 Shadow replacement.

Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems is a signature effort within the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Modernization priority. The Program Executive Office for Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office in collaboration with Army Futures Command is leading the capabilities assessment.

The “Devil Brigade” is the first U.S. Army Forces Command unit to demonstrate one of the four vertical take-off and landing unmanned aircraft systems procured for the assessment.

Assigned the Arcturus UAV JUMP 20, it is the largest of the selected systems weighing 210 pounds with an 18-foot wingspan. Despite the size, its reduced acoustic signature compared to the Shadow is appreciated by the entire crew. “We’re used to screaming at each other and having to use radios in order to communicate,” said Spc. Christopher McCoy, a crew chief assigned to 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. “You can stand right next to this aircraft and not even raise your voice,” said McCoy.

According to Spc. Nicholas Miller, an unmanned aircraft systems operator also assigned to 1st Engineer Battalion, the JUMP 20 maintains the ability to launch and recover from a confined area with minimal ground support equipment. “Currently, we need a runway for launch and recovery of the Shadow. With the VTOL system on the JUMP 20, we don’t need any of that, we’re working with half the equipment,” he said.

The extended endurance of the system allows multiple operators to take turns training on the payload at altitude, while a second aircraft conducts repeated launches and recoveries to train operators and crew chiefs on critical modes of flight.

Over the next five months, the Big Red One Soldiers will operate the system as a surrogate for their RQ-7 Shadow, performing similar tactical tasks for the BCT, but with the added vertical take-off and landing capability and control while on the move. The assessment utilizes a crawl, walk, run mentality, progressing through operator and collective training, then culminating in brigade level field training exercises and a Combat Training Center rotation.

Under increasing COVID-19 precautions, it was uncertain whether the assessment would remain on schedule. Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division determined the assessment could continue with proper mitigations. The Army is following CDC and DoD guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The four other FORSCOM units participating in the assessment are assigned the Martin V-Bat, Textron Aerosonde HQ, L3 Harris FVR-90, and a second Arcturus UAV JUMP 20 are scheduled to begin in the coming months. These assessment schedules are under regular re-evaluation as COVID-19 conditions change.

For updates throughout the FTUAS assessment, visit: www.dvidshub.net/feature/FTUAS

By Sarah Tate

Aviation Specialties Unlimited Announces Millbrook Tactical as Exclusive Authorized Representative for Aeronox Product Line to the Canadian Department of National Defence, Federal and Provincial Agencies

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) and Millbrook Tactical Inc. are proud to announce Millbrook has been appointed the exclusive authorized representative for the ASU’s Aeronox product line to the Canadian Department of National Defence, Federal and Provincial Agencies.

“We’re absolutely delighted to bring ASU Aeronox to the Canadian market. Millbrook is dedicated to support Canadian security stakeholders with world class equipment and services”, said Allan Lewis, EO Program Manager. “ASU Aeronox is a pillar in the industry and we are extremely proud to represent them in Canada.”

For more information on ASU visit www.asu-nvg.com/aviation

Canadian customers can contact Allan at [email protected]

BELL V-280 Valor Team Selected To Continue In Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft Competition

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

U.S. Army awards Bell a contract for competitive demonstration and risk reduction work on a program engineered to deliver exceptional operational capabilities to warfighters at a sustainable cost

Fort Worth, Texas (March 16, 2019) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has been selected as a project agreement holder for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) effort as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. Under the agreement Bell will deliver a refined V-280 Valor design, with supporting technical documentation, that builds on the data captured during the more than two years and 170 hours of flight testing under the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) program to inform the FLRAA program of record. 

“Bell and Team Valor are excited to continue working on a system that has proven its ability to bring exceptional capabilities to warfighters,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO at Bell. “The JMR TD and V-280 show that rapid maturation of new technology is possible with a solid government-industry partnership fueled by our talented and innovative workforce. We look forward to the FLRAA competition.”

This contract follows the successful U.S. Army led JMR TD program. As part of that program, Bell managed collaboration with the twelve leading companies that make up Team Valor to enable rapid production, systems integration, and deliberate program schedule to validate the V-280’s flight capabilities and operational relevance. The V-280 achieved all program goals, demonstrating its speed by flying above 300 knots and demonstrating low speed agility attitude quickness per ADS-33F-PRF. These characteristics are important to inform FLRAA program requirements to ensure the program will help warfighters meet the challenges of future multi-domain fights.

“This is an important milestone in the history of Bell and Army aviation. We are honored to be part of it,” said Keith Flail, vice president, Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “The next phase is an opportunity for this team to build on the success of the last six years and continue to bring the proof that we can provide transformative capabilities to our Army in line with their stated goal of 2030.”

The V-280 Valor was developed in support of the government Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, the Army’s number three modernization priority area. The FLRAA program is meant to produce a medium-lift utility rotorcraft replacement with transformational speed, power, and maneuverability, at a sustainable cost, to active duty and reserve aviation units. 






Saab Announces ‘Gripen for Canada Team’

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Saab is bidding for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) and today announced that leading Canadian aerospace companies IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation are the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’.

Saab is offering Gripen E, with the support of the Swedish government, for Canada’s future fighter requirement of 88 new aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet. The Canadian Request for Proposal requires companies to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits, such as Saab has demonstrated with Gripen for Brazil and is offering for Finland and India’s fighter requirements.

Saab’s bid to the Government of Canada will include a comprehensive proposal to deliver those benefits, with high quality jobs and technology, adding greater economic value and knowledge across Canadian industry coast to coast. Today’s announcement is the first step toward achieving this offer with IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation as the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’.

 “Over the past two years, Saab and the Swedish Government have been encouraged by Canada’s open and transparent competition to replace its fighter fleet. Today, we are delighted to announce the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’. We have assembled a dynamic roster of innovative leaders within Canada’s aerospace industry, across multiple regions to offer the best solution for Canada’s future fighter,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Business Area Aeronautics. He further stated that, “Saab is committed to securing long-term relationships in Canada that will create a significant number of highly-skilled, sustainable jobs for Canadians within domestic and international supply chains.”

IMP Aerospace & Defence will contribute with in-country production and in-service support for the life of the Canadian Gripen fleet. CAE will provide training and mission systems solutions, while Peraton Canada will provide avionic and test equipment component maintenance, repair and overhaul, and material management. GE Aviation will provide and sustain the fighter’s engines in Canada.

The ‘Gripen for Canada Team’ presents a genuine ‘Made in Canada’ solution and looks forward to demonstrating how Gripen is the best value for Canada’s aerospace industry and taxpayers in terms of life-cycle costs and sustainment throughout the FFCP competition. Saab’s Gripen fighter meets all of Canada’s specific defence requirements, offering exceptional performance, advanced technical capabilities, future-proof upgradeability and NATO interoperability.






Need Flight Deck Jerseys?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Tidewater Tactical has your flight deck jersey needs covered with every color and size. Both American MFG and Drifire models as well as pants are available.

If you’re in Hampton Roads you can stop in, or contact them via tidewatertactical.com.