AeroVironment said it has received orders valued at $36,746,304 under a contract for Switchblade tactical missile systems, ancillary equipment and support.
In a release, the Company said that the United States Army Close Combat Weapons Systems Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO MS) awarded these contract modifications. AeroVironment and its strategic teammate for advanced warheads, ATK, will work together to produce and deliver the systems.
"Even in tight defense budget environments, there is a need for innovative new weapon systems that allow our customers to achieve decisive force while reducing total mission costs," said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. "This surge of demand for Switchblade represents a breakthrough in its transition from development, testing and evaluation to adoption."
Conver added, "Our team is relentlessly focused on delivering new capabilities that help our customers succeed, and Switchblade is a clear example of our growth thesis working, from innovation to adoption. It's creating a pathway to a compelling new capability for the Army, and long-term growth for the company."
AeroVironment said that the new orders totaling $36.7 million were issued on August 20, September 4 and September 5, under a sole source contract established on August 30, 2012. All orders under this contract include operational and training rounds plus training, support and rapid delivery to support ongoing customer operations.
An August 14, news article described the positive response Switchblade has created in the field: "The main draw, an Army official said, is Switchblade's precision and its ability to limit non-combatant casualties. Soldiers and leaders have readily embraced it as an invaluable tool, the official said. The ability to wave off a target after launch is unique to this weapon over almost all other weapons. Operators can abort a mission if the situation changes after launch, engage a secondary target or safely destroy it without inflicting casualties or collateral damage to property."
"Switchblade helps protect our forces from harm in very dangerous situations," said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of the company's Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. "It provides a new and effective way for our forces to respond quickly to threats while reducing or even eliminating collateral damage through its set of unique capabilities. Switchblade is a smart, modern and cost-effective tool for force protection."
Switchblade added it provides a high-precision, direct fire capability at beyond-line-of-sight ranges in a rapidly deployable, backpackable package weighing six pounds.
RQ-11B Raven, RQ-12 Wasp AE, RQ-20A Puma and Shrike VTOL comprise AeroVironment's Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units and security personnel. AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce. AeroVironment has delivered thousands of new and replacement small unmanned air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than twenty international governments.
The Qube small UAS is tailored to search and rescue, first response, law enforcement and other public safety missions. Small enough to fit easily in the trunk of a car, the Qube system can be unpacked, assembled and ready for flight in less than five minutes, giving the operator a rapidly deployable eye in the sky at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and large unmanned aircraft.
AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, operates and supports a portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
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