Navy Will Deploy AeroVironment Blackwing Reconnaissance Systems
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, awarded AeroVironment Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for both military and commercial applications, a contract award for the continuation and expansion of its Blackwing program.
The contract includes orders for multiple Blackwing small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), sensor payloads and refurbishment kits for a total value of $2,578,822 to be delivered by November 2018.
Blackwing is a small, tube-launched unmanned aircraft that employs an advanced, miniature electro-optical and infrared payload, integrated inertial/GPS autopilot system and secure Digital Data Link, all packaged into a vehicle that launches from under the surface of the sea, from manned submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles. It can also be integrated with and deployed from a wide variety of surface vessels and mobile ground vehicles.
Serving as aerial eyes in the sky, these Blackwings can beam down unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to submarine commanders.
“Since first being deployed just a few months ago, Blackwing has delivered valuable new capabilities to United States naval undersea warfare units,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its UAS business segment. “This contract is consistent with the Navy’s plan to resupply existing vessels and equip additional submarines with the Blackwing capability.”
To learn more about AeroVironment, the only manufacturer of the Blackwing UAS, visit www.avinc.com.