AeroVironment and GD partner to integrate UAS and tactical missile systems with armored ground combat vehicles

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AeroVironment Inc. has announced a new strategic relationship with General Dynamics Land Systems (GD) to produce “highly integrated and effective” tactical UAS and tactical missile systems (TMS) for armored ground combat vehicles.

“By integrating the leading small tactical UAS and loitering missile systems with the leading armored combat vehicles, our team will deliver a new level of battlefield lethality, survivability and combat effectiveness to protect and enable the warfighter,” explains Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business.

“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 collaborative projects between AeroVironment and GD will address the upcoming U.S. Army Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) programs.

According to the companies, the NGCV program will “dramatically benefit” from automated UAS scout and precision loitering missile engagement technology, tightly coupled into the GD armored vehicle electronic architecture to “rapidly geolocate and, if necessary, finish targets.”

Meanwhile, the ARV project significantly evolved beyond a straightforward replacement for the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) into a networked family of manned vehicles, ground robots and UAS. Together, this networked family is capable of reconnaissance, as well as electronic warfare and long-range precision strikes.

The vehicle is designed to launch a UAS, scout deep, and then deploy precision fire and electronic warfare. It will have an open architecture design that is upgraded with new technologies as they become available.

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

“We’re confident this integrated capability, expanding the warfighter’s situational awareness, survivability and over-the-next-obstacle lethality, will define the market for years to come.”