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August 11, 2016
United States Navy Deploying Newly Designated RQ-20B AeroVironment Puma AE with Precision Recovery System Aboard Guided Missile Destroyer

MONROVIA, Calif., Aug. 11, 2016 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced the United States Navy has tested and deployed the RQ-20B Puma™ small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) aboard a Flight I Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG Class).  Some of these exercises included the use of AeroVironment’s fully autonomous system to recover the aircraft aboard a ship.  The US Navy issued a report on August 3 from the Arabian Gulf describing how Puma AE is also being utilized (see “US Ships Utilize Small Eye in the Sky”) on Navy Patrol Craft.

 

Following completion of a Puma AE intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, the AeroVironment Precision Recovery System provides for the autonomous on-board recovery of the aircraft, without interrupting the ship’s operations.  Because the Puma AE is also designed to land and float in water, operators can choose to recover it from the ocean, should mission requirements dictate.

 

The AeroVironment Precision Recovery System occupies a small footprint and can be managed and operated by members of a ship’s crew, as opposed to requiring external contractors. It is transported in tactical packaging that can be hand-carried aboard and readily transferred from one ship to another.

 

“Our Precision Recovery System expands the capability of Puma AE to support maritime operations.  This solution also builds on AeroVironment’s extensive operational experience with small UAS to provide the Navy with a low-cost, hand-launched capability optimized for contested environments,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.  “Puma AE’s ability to operate from a wide variety of surface vessels ensures rapid response reconnaissance capabilities that help our customers operate more safely and effectively and proceed with certainty.”

 

Puma AE can be launched and recovered very quickly.  The UAS features a gimbaled payload that delivers high quality electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) imagery and AeroVironment’s secure Digital Data Link (DDL).  These features improve situational awareness for the ship and also for boat crews who carry their own remote video terminal (“Pocket DDL”) during approach and assist or other missions.

 

AeroVironment developed the Puma AE system to compete for, and win, a 2008 United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) competitive program of record and subsequently supplied the system to the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Coastal Riverine Forces, the US Army for convoy and ground troop support and the US Marine Corps. Most recently, the Navy procured Puma AE systems for use aboard Patrol Craft and also deployed them aboard a US Navy Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) ship in support of counter illicit trafficking operations in the Caribbean.  The Puma AE is also employed by several international partners.

 

The United States Department of Defense recently established the designation RQ-20B for the block 2 Puma AE small UAS.  The block 2 Puma AE system includes a more powerful and lighter propulsion system, lighter and stronger airframe, long endurance battery, precision inertial navigation system and an improved user interface.  The new, all environment Mantis i45 gimbal sensor suite for Puma AE delivers a dramatic leap in small UAS image resolution and ISR capability and will be available for ordering in September.

 

About AeroVironment Small UAS

RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-12 Wasp®, RQ-20A and B Puma™ and Shrike VTOL™ 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 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, fixed installations, naval vessels and security personnel.  AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce.  AeroVironment has delivered thousands of new and replacement small unmanned air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than 30 international governments.

 

About AeroVironment

AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides customers with more actionable intelligence so they can proceed with certainty.  Based in California, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems, tactical missile systems and electric vehicle charging and test systems, and serves militaries, government agencies, businesses and consumers. For more information visit www.avinc.com.

 

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; our reliance on sales to the U.S. government; changes in the timing and/or amount of government spending; changes in the supply and/or demand and/or prices for our products and services; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on 10-Q. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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