AeroVironment, Inc. introduced its lightweight and man-portable Shrike VTOL unmanned aircraft system.
In August 2008 AeroVironment announced the receipt of a contract from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to develop a portable, stealthy, persistent perch and stare (SP2S) unmanned aircraft system. Shrike VTOL represents the conclusion of this development effort.
“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. Not only does Shrike VTOL hover for more than 40 minutes with a high resolution video camera, but its innovative design also allows for the transmission of several hours of live video as a remotely emplaced perch and stare sensor,” said Tom Herring, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business segment. “This new solution adds an important set of new capabilities to our existing and battle-proven family of small unmanned aircraft systems that are saving lives in theater today.”
Herring said the Shrike VTOL system delivers the superior imagery, endurance and encrypted video found in all AeroVironment small unmanned aircraft systems. Operating quietly enough to go virtually undetected, Shrike weighs approximately five pounds and is small enough to fit in a backpack.
Raven, Wasp and Puma comprise AeroVironment’s Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units.