Norway’s Defence Logistics Organisation has placed a $4.9 million order for the hand-launched Raven unmanned aircraft system with California-based AeroVironment, the company says.

One Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares, but is flexible per the customer’s wishes. Delivery is expected in early 2011, AeroVironment says. A single Raven costs about $35,000, and each total system runs to $250,000.

“With years of successful deployment, Raven is proving its value to military forces around the world,” says Tom Herring, senior vice-president and general manager of the company’s unmanned aircraft systems business segment. “As the most prolific unmanned aircraft system, Raven gives frontline forces the ability to perform their tasks more effectively and safely.”

Powered by an electric motor, the Raven can fly up to 5.4nm (10km) and at altitudes up to 15,000ft (4,570m). The 1.9kg (4.2lb) air vehicle is primarily used for base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection.

Source: Flight International