In August 2008, AeroVironment announced the receipt of a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a portable, stealthy, persistent perch and stare unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The company’s Shrike vertical take off and landing (VTOL) UAS represents the conclusion of this development effort.
“With more than four years of customer funding behind it, our new Shrike VTOL UAS is designed to address the need for a small, lightweight 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,” says 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.”
According to Herring, the Shrike VTOL system delivers the superior imagery, endurance and encrypted video found in all AeroVironment small UASs. Operating quietly enough to go virtually undetected, Shrike weighs approximately five pounds and is small enough to fit in a backpack.
Article and image courtesy of AeroVironment.