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AeroVironment's Aqua Puma Unmanned Aircraft System Completes Royal Australian Navy Sea Trials

February 8, 2007 at 12:00 AM EST
AeroVironment's Aqua Puma Unmanned Aircraft System Completes Royal Australian Navy Sea Trials

MONROVIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 2007--AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ:AVAV), a leader in unmanned aircraft systems and efficient electric energy systems, today announced that it has successfully completed sea trials of its Aqua Puma unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the Royal Australian Navy to explore adding a UAS capability to the Navy's new Armidale class patrol boats.

AV's Aqua Puma is launched by hand, lands directly onto the sea surface and is recovered by hand from vessels. It is a next-generation FQM-151 Pointer, with the same form factor but increased endurance (1.5 hours) and enhanced sensor capability.

"We are pleased to have supported the Royal Australian Navy's first small UAS sea trials. Adding the Aqua Puma to the Armidales will require no ship modifications and will add significant day and night reconnaissance and surveillance capability," said Ilker "Ike" Bayraktar, vice president of international business development for AV. "Continued expansion into foreign markets is a key objective of the company. Successful trials such as these with the Royal Australian Navy are early but important steps toward the realization of that strategy."

Bayraktar said that last year the company selected XTEK Ltd. as its representative for small UAS sales and logistics support in Australia, New Zealand and surrounding nations. This selection allows AV to provide full service, in-country support for Australian system sales, operator training and repairs.

"We are very excited to be involved with AV," said David Jarvis, chief operating officer of XTEK. "Their products are at the cutting edge of this capability and fit perfectly into the new network-centric battlefield architecture. Our experience with sophisticated, unmanned ground vehicles will be a big help in this growing field."

AV and XTEK are currently providing a full-spectrum of timely product and customer support to the Australian Department of Defence, which has been using AV's RQ-11 Raven UAS since their procurement in 2005. The Raven UAS provides dismounted troops with organic Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) capability in day and night operations.

About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)

Building on a history of technological innovation, AV designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and efficient electric energy systems. The company's small UAS are used extensively by agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and increasingly by allied military forces to deliver real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition to tactical operating units. AV's PosiCharge® fast charge systems eliminate battery changing for electric industrial vehicles in factories, airports, and distribution centers. For more information about AV, please visit

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CONTACT: AeroVironment, Inc.
Steven Gitlin, +1 (626) 357-9980
For AeroVironment, Inc.
Mark Boyer, +1 (310) 455-7812

SOURCE: AeroVironment, Inc.