AeroVironment has received a long-awaited order to deliver hundreds of new Raven unmanned aircraft vehicles and retrofit kits to the US Army and US Marine Corps.
The army signed an order on 28 December for AeroVironment to deliver 123 MQ-11 Raven B systems, each of which consists of three vehicles and two control stations. The $46.2 million contract also includes kits to retrofit digital data links on Raven Bs, with 339 kits ordered by the army and 186 for the Marines.
The contract completes a deal that has been in negotiation since the fiscal year 2010 spending bill for the Department of Defense became law in December 2009.
Earlier in 2010, the army increased the acquisition objective for the Raven inventory by about 8%. In December, AeroVironment officials said the company expects the service to extend Raven procurement beyond FY2011.
The 1.9kg (4.2lb) vehicle can be carried in a backpack. The hand-launched aircraft is equipped with day and night video cameras.