AeroVironment’s Raven Small Unmanned Aircraft System Receives Military Aircraft Type-Classification Certificate from the Netherlands Military Aviation Authority Certification Permits Operation of Raven in Dutch National Airspace by the Military
MONROVIA, Calif., Nov. 3, 2009 – AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced that the Military Aviation Authority of the Netherlands (MLA-NLD) has issued a Military Type Certificate (MTC) for the Raven® B NLD MUAS, the first such certificate issued in the Netherlands in the Micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle category. This certificate permits Dutch military personnel to operate Raven systems in designated Dutch airspace.
The AeroVironment Raven B system was selected by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, acting through its Defence Materiel Organization (DMO), after performing an open competition in 2007. Key elements resulting in its selection were hand-launchability, reliability, ease of use, robustness, and demonstrated in-theater operational performance and logistics support. The DMO subsequently purchased Raven B systems and support services, including training of military users.
“Receiving this MTC validates the Raven system’s airworthiness and reliability, but also represents an important step toward the operation of small UAS in our national airspace,” said Dick Goedhart, head section type management unmanned aircraft, DMO. “This MTC also makes it possible for us to use Raven for non-military applications, though for those activities segregation of airspace must still be managed by procedures.”
The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner”
reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection.
In addition to the Raven system, AV’s small UAS include Puma AE™ and Wasp™, which are also hand-launched and controlled by AV’s hand-held ground control station. AV’s UAS logistics operation supports systems deployed worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness. AV has delivered thousands of small unmanned aircraft to date. In addition to the Netherlands, international purchasers of Raven systems include Italy, Denmark, and Spain.