AeroVironment (AV) showcased two new rotary-winged vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) at the DSEI 2019 defence exhibition in London, as it looks to secure its first non-US sales for the aircraft.
Speaking to Jane's on the opening day of the event on 10 September, a company representative said that with the US Department of Defense (DoD) already fielding the Vapor 35 and larger Vapor 55 UASs, DSEI 2019 was the first time that the company had promoted the platforms to the wider international market.
"This is the first international show [for the Vapor], as we try and introduce the series to the European side of the 'pond'," Gerard Robottom, Director of Business Development, Tactical UAS International, said.
The all-electric UASs are named after their respective gross weights, with the Vapor 35 having a gross weight of 35 lb (14.5 kg) and the Vapor 55 a gross weight of 55 lb (24.9 kg). Originally developed by Pulse Aerospace before that company was acquired by AV earlier in 2019, the Vapor-series differ primarily from other rotary-winged VTOL UASs on the market in that they both can carry a range of interchangeable payloads for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other missions, and the larger platforms has a payload-drop capability for troop-in-contact resupply, blood drops, and the like.
While Robottom did not elaborate on the identity of the DoD customer, he did note that feedback had been very positive over the couple of years of service to date. Though Robottom said that AV is looking at current requests for information (RFIs) that have been released, he declined to be more specific as to particular requirements the company is chasing down.
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