The U.S. Air Force has included AeroVironment’s new WASP AE to its Battlefield Air Targeting Micro Air Vehicle (BATMAV) program. This inclusion enabled the Air Force to place a $2.5 million order for this enhanced configuration of the WASP Micro Air vehicle (MAV), which has already been adopted by the Air Force and Marine Corps for small unit tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Weighing 2.8 pounds (1.3 kilograms), the Wasp AE air vehicle is designed for ground and water landing, making it suitable for both land and maritime missions, and is capable of 20 percent greater flight duration than the prior Wasp.
The acceptance of the WASP AE followed over one year of compliance testing and validation by the BATMAV program. According to AV, The successful completion of these assessments and the resulting acceptance supports Wasp AE procurement by other U.S. Department of Defense customers.
The drone is equipped with AV’s digital data link, supporting interoperability with other small UAVs such as the Digital Puma, Raven, and Shrike VTOL. It is also supported by a portable ground control station common to all AV‘s SUAS, capable of encrypted communication, beyond line-of-sight operation and voice, video, text and data relay.
Wasp AE incorporates latest and the smallest version of the Mantis – the Mantis i22 weighing 275 gram. Being AV’s smallest stabilized EO payload, it gives operators both color and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package.