It was announced at this month’s Paris Air Show that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) this month received and began training exercises with AeroVironment’s RQ-12 Wasp AE unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system.
ADF placed an AUD $7.7 million order on Dec. 22, 2014 as part of an Army Soldier Modernisation Trial procurement. AeroVironment received the order from XTEK Limited on behalf of the ADF.
The Wasp AE weighs 2.8 pounds, operates for up to 50 minutes at a range of up to five kilometers and delivers live, streaming color and infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom Mantis i22 AE gimbaled payload. Launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or in fresh or salt water, the Wasp AE provides portability and flexibility for infantry, littoral or maritime reconnaissance operations.
“The man packable Wasp AE unmanned aircraft system delivers powerful intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on demand and directly to small tactical units or an individual warfighter,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of the company’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.