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Drone

Washington (UPI) Oct 11, 2018 –

AeroVironment has received a $13 million contract for Raven RQ-11B small unmanned aircraft systems.

The contract, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, covers recurring requirements for RQ-11B SUAS, spare parts, related equipment and training.

The SUAS will be directed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, which includes nations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Work on the contract is expected to be completed by September 2023. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $2.8 million is being obligated at time of award.

The Raven, a lightweight, hand-launched system, is the most widely used unmanned aircraft system in use. The SUAS is designed for rapid deployment and low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence.

The Raven has a small wingspan of 4.5 feet and weighs 4.2 pounds. It uses GPS systems for navigation and is capable of manual or autonomous operations.