AeroVironment, Inc. introduced today a lightweight miniature ‘quadcopter’ designed for special operations small tactical forces. Shrike VTOL is a man-portable, vertical take off and landing Stealthy, Persistent Perch and Stare (SP2S) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) developed in the past four years under a DRAPA funded program.
According to Tom Herring, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business segment, the Shrike VTOL can deliver many hours of high resolution live video from static positions (perch). Alternatively, it can fly a 40 minute mission or combine flying to and from perching sites, staring over the objective area for hours, using battery power. Operating quietly enough to go virtually undetected, Shrike weighs approximately five pounds and is small enough to fit in a backpack. The Shrike VTOL uses the handheld Common Ground Control System, offering full commonality with Raven, Wasp and Puma UAS.
“With more than four years of customer funding behind it, our new Shrike VTOL unmanned aircraft system is designed to address the need for a small, light-weight hovering aircraft that delivers unique surveillance and intelligence capability not provided by current solutions.” Herring said.
Less than a year after the program started Aeronvironment delivered five early models to DARPA for Limited User Evaluation (LUE). Ten additional aircraft were delivered at a following phase.