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DESCRIPTION

The RQ-11B Raven is a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). The SUAS provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection for the battalion commander and below during day and night operations. The Raven and its larger SUAS counterpart, the RQ-20 Puma, make up a formidable SUAS team. The SUAS is comprised of three air vehicles, a Ground Control Station (GCS), a remote video terminal (identical to GCS), Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) payloads, aircraft and GCS batteries, a field repair kit and a spares package. Normal operational altitude is 500 feet or lower. The system, aircraft and ground control station are assembled by operators in approximately five minutes. Both color EO sensors and IR sensors are fielded for day and night capabilities with each system. A hand controller displays live video and aircraft status.

Mission planning is performed on the hand controller or ruggedized laptop running Portable Flight Planning Software/Falcon View Flight Planning Software. Aircraft flight modes include fully autonomous navigation, altitude hold, loiter and return home. In-flight retasking and auto-loiter at sensor payload point of interest are also available. Raven incorporates secure Global Positioning System navigation. The digital data link incorporates encryption, improves spectrum management allowing more air vehicles to be flown in an operational area, and provides range extension via data relay between two SUAS aircraft.

SUAS is operated by two Soldiers and has a rucksack-portable design. No specific military occupational specialty is required. Operator training requires 10 days.

BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER

SUAS provides the battalion-and-below ground-maneuver elements with an organic, on-demand asset to develop situational awareness, enhance force protection and secure routes, points and areas. The system provides the small unit commander a responsive tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition capability through real-time, full-motion video and sensor data via the hand controller.

SPECIFICATIONS

Raven:

  • Wingspan: 4.5 feet
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Range: 10 km
  • Endurance: 90 minutes at 300 feet above ground level (AGL) or higher

Puma:

  • Wingspan: 9.2 feet
  • Weight: 12.9 pounds
  • Range: 10 km
  • Endurance: 120 minutes at 500 feet AGL or higher

PROGRAM STATUS

FY16-FY18: In Sustainment

PROJECTED ACTIVITIES

FY19-FY23: Frequency Spectrum Reallocation

Foreign Military Sales

      • Denmark
      • Estonia
      • Lebanon
      • Uganda

Contractors

    • AeroVironment, Inc. (Simi Valley, CA)