AeroVironment Inc.(NASDAQ: AVAV) the clear leader in the man-portable, hand-launched UAS market, has announced a strategic partnership with Sweden-based CybAero (NASDAQOMXS: CBA) and will invest up to $3 million in CybAero convertible notes. The agreement secures exclusive rights to distribute larger, higher flying, longer endurance vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in United States, NATO and other countries. The agreement expands AeroVironment family of unmanned aircraft systems capabilities beyond hand-launched category to address market requirements.
United States military customers typically segment the numerous types of unmanned aircraft systems they employ by size, weight, endurance and range into different tiers. Man-portable, hand-launched systems such as AeroVironment’s RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-20A Puma® AE and Wasp® AE that weight less than 20 pounds comprise the Tier I segment. Tier II UAS include heavier, larger and longer endurance systems with longer range, such as CybAero’s VTOL offering. Tiers III and IV include air vehicles of increasing size, capable of even longer endurance and range and requiring larger support teams and infrastructure requirements.