Aerosonde today announced the first flight of the Mark 5 variant of its eponymous unmanned aerial vehicle — surprising, considering we weren’t aware such an aircraft existed, much less has already flown.
The Mark 5 is AAI/Aerosonde’s surprise new candidate for the small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS)/Tier II contract, a pending US Navy/US Marine Corps order for hundreds of new aircraft. Until now, the Aerosonde Mark 4 has been the team’s candidate for the STUAS/Tier II contract.
Aerosonde has not yet released a photo or any performance data about the new aircraft, but I’ll keep you posted if that changes.
From the press release, we know a few things about the Mark 5, including:
- It has been under development for two years
- Flight tests began after the “services confirmed their requirements” for STUAS/Tier II
- The aircraft’s configuration is designed to “comply with the objectives of these programs”