AeroVironment Gets $23.9M Order

Monrovia-based Aerovironment, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, reported Monday that it has received a $23.9M order from the Army and Marine Corps, covering upgrades to the firm's Raven Systems. The firm said the order cover upgrade of existing analog Raven systems being used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, to upgrade those systems with use a more efficient digital data link. The contact also covers adding signal encryption to the UAVs--an area which has gained a fair amount of attention area, after it revelations that insurgents have been downloading video from unencrypted, U.S. UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan. AeroVironment said the funding came from the approval of the a United States Department of Defense supplemental funding bill, and that the potential value of the order received by the firm is $66.6M. The remainder of the order, worth $42.7M, has not yet been funded.