AeroVironment receives $4.3M award

By Emily Aasand | December 04, 2014

AeroVironment received a $4.3 million cost plus fixed fee award and $7.1 million option for Switchblade tactical missile system support services from the U.S. Army Close Combat Weapons Systems office. The award increased funding for the missile systems to a total of $63.8 million.

“Switchblade is a game changing capability that continues to protect American troops and give them major advantages on the battlefield,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its unmanned aircraft systems business segment. “Switchblade enables our forces to work within the rules of engagement to neutralize lethal threats through its unique portability, precision, rapid deployment and collateral damage avoidance capabilities.”

The award and option will provide support for American forces through training, refurbishments and project management support.

“Wherever our troops operate, they deserve to be equipped with the most effective, practice tools that protect and empower them,” said Minson. “Switchblade has proven itself up to the task.”

The Switchblade is designed to provide the warfighter with a back-packable, non-line-of-sight precision-strike solution with minimal collateral effects. The miniature, autonomous platform can either glide or propel itself via electric propulsion and can provide real-time GPS coordinates and video for information gathering, targeting, or feature/object recognition.

In AeroVironment’s second quarter fiscal 2015 overview, the company reported the Switchblade revenue nearly doubled from fiscal 2013 to 2014 and is anticipated to increase in fiscal 2015. AeroVironment also reported providing the first Federal Aviation Administration-approved commercial unmanned aircraft system services over American soil in Alaska.

AeroVironment saw a second quarter revenue of $52.7 million which brings the company’s total year to date revenue to $104.5 million. The report also found the company to earn a $17.9 million second quarter gross margin, which is comparable to the $14 million gross margin in the first quarter.

In AeroVironment’s unmanned aircraft systems business, during the fiscal year of 2014, it saw 73 percent of its revenue by function in products, 13 percent in sustainment (including training, logistic, repairs, upgrades and other services), and 14 percent in research and development.

In order to execute AeroVironment’s fiscal 2015 plan to drive long-term value, the company is focused on driving profitable growth through technology-based innovation, strong and balanced pipeline with multiple high-value market opportunities, consistent financial performance, differentiated solutions with industry-leading positions across multiple markets, and by having a solid track record of performance, the company said.