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Unlike the larger non-mobile, multi-million-dollar aerostats which require significant numbers of support personnel and a fixed infrastructure, the WASP is a compact, tactical, mobile aerostat system providing multi-mission capabilities that can be operated on the move or rapidly relocated.
Drone Aviation, a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, has recently delivered its multi-mission capable tactical Winch Aerostat Small Platform (“WASP”) to the U.S. Army. The contract, valued in excess of $800,000, was executed in October 2017 and included new WASP hardware, spare equipment and training.
The soldier-operated WASP delivers multi-mission capability on the edge of the battlefield featuring the simultaneous use of secure communications and advanced ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) payloads, according to globenewswire.com. The order follows the customer’s successful in-theater use of the enhanced WASP system.
The WASP is a highly tactical and mobile aerostat system which can be operated by as few as two soldiers and can provide day/night video and secure wireless communication range extension at the edge of the battlefield from either a fixed, stationary position or while being towed.
Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, various DoD exercises, and customer operations.
Operating at altitudes of up to 1,500 feet AGL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR capabilities and secure communications in remote and austere locations. The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads.
The company hopes to continue to meet the needs of the army and deliver tailor-made solutions which can supply US troops and allies worldwide with key mobile communications and eye in the sky capabilities in locations where connectivity is limited or non-existent.