UAS, tactical missile system focus of AeroVironment, General Dynamics partnership

AUSA 2018--WASHINGTON. General Dynamics Land Systems (GD) and AeroVironment, Inc. officials announced a new strategic relationship at this year's AUSA event to produce integrated and effective tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems (TMS) for armored ground combat vehicles.

The intent of the joint collaborative efforts is to develop a solution that will include the integration of AeroVironment’s Switchblade and Shrike 2 systems from prototype entrants to the USMC’s Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) program.

The two companies are displaying a proposed integrated prototype system at General Dynamics Land Systems’ AUSA booth #6027 (Exhibit D upstairs) that includes AeroVironment’s Switchblade loitering missile launched from a Griffin III demonstrator, as well as a Shrike 2 vertical takeoff-landing (VTOL) forward flight system that takes off and lands on the Stryker A1 30mm prototype vehicle.

AeroVironment and GD’s collaborative projects will address the upcoming U.S. Army Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) programs. The NGCV program will benefit from automated drone scout and precision loitering missile engagement technology tightly coupled into the GD armored vehicle electronic architecture to rapidly geolocate and, if necessary, finish targets.

The ARV project has evolved networked family of manned vehicles, ground robots and drones, collectively capable of reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and long-range precision strikes. The vehicle is designed to launch a drone, scout deep, and then deploy precision fire and electronic warfare.

Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business, comments on the partnership. “This enhanced integration will ensure precise, mobile lethality with increased automation, decreased workload, and fewer operators required for small drone and loitering missile systems deployment. AeroVironment and General Dynamics Land Systems are ready today to equip our warfighters with more lethality tomorrow.”

“The purpose of this partnership is to deliver a decisive advantage to ground combatants, to see first and strike first, across the tactical landscape,” adds Don Kotchman, U.S. vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems.