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AUSA 2021: AeroVironment touts maintenance ease of Jump 20 UAV

The AeroVironment Arcturus Jump 20 vertical take-off and landing UAV on display at the Association of the United States Army's annual convention in Washington, DC, on 11 October 2021. (Janes/Pat Host)

AeroVironment is promoting the maintainability of its Arcturus Jump 20 Group 3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that the company had on display at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) annual convention for the first time.

Tracy Stapleton, AeroVironment business development director, told Janes on 11 October at AUSA that the Jump 20 features a modular payload bay that is accessible from the starboard and port sides of the aircraft. This allows maintainers access to line replaceable units (LRUs), such as radios or power supplies, so that they can replace them in the field instead of having to elevate the aircraft to higher levels of maintenance.

The Jump 20, along with the L3Harris FVR-90, the Shield AI-Northrop Grumman Technology Services V-Bat, and the Textron Systems Aerosonde Hybrid Quadrotor, participated in the US Army's Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) rodeo in early 2021. Ken Karklin, AeroVironment senior vice-president and chief operating officer, on 11 October declined to elaborate when Janes asked if the company was offering the Jump 20 specifically for FTUAS.

However, Karklin said that the platform is a strong contender for FTUAS and similar programmes. He said the Jump 20 is participating in the US Special Operations Command's Multi-mission Tactical UAS (MTUAS) effort. Shield AI, with the V-Bat 128, was awarded an other transaction authority for MTUAS.

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